Tips to save water during the drought

Updated August 10, 2021
Tips to save water during the drought

Our water resources are strong, but we need to reduce use right now to stretch our supplies this summer and going into the fall and winter seasons. The good news: You can accomplish much of these savings in your yard, where most household water use occurs in the Sacramento region.

Where you can see the most significant changes in water use:

Soil MoistureCheck soil moisture before turning on sprinklers

Saves 80 gallons of water daily

Research tells us that people often decide to water their yard just by looking at their plants or if the weather is hot and dry. The result is that often people overwater, applying more than their lawn and plants need. The only way to know for sure is to check soil moisture with a moisture meter or dig down with a hand shovel to determine soil moisture.

Sprinklers Replace older sprinklers with more efficient rotary nozzles

Saves 8 gallons of water per 1,000 square feet of a yard per day

Replacing older sprinklers with high-efficiency rotary nozzles can improve your sprinkler system’s efficiency by 30 percent while building a healthy lawn. Rotary nozzles slowly deliver multiple rotating streams of water, reducing water waste by applying water at a rate the soil more easily absorbs.

Timer Upgrade Upgrade to a WaterSense-labeled weather-based sprinkler timer

Saves up to 100-150 gallons of water per day

These sprinkler timers act like a thermostat for your sprinklers, adjusting the amount of water plants and lawn receive according to weather conditions, soil type, sun exposure (such as shade vs. full sun), and plant type.

Water Plants Water plants early in the morning to reduce evaporation

Saves 50 gallons of water each time you water

Watering your plants and lawn before 10 a.m. or after 8 p.m. is a good way to ensure your plants gets all the water. Check out our irrigation at (and select “Irrigation watering schedule”) to optimize the water used in your garden.

Fix Leaks Inside your home, check and fix leaks

Saves 30-50 gallons of water per day

The most common type of leak inside a home is a toilet leak, which can waste 200 gallons of water per day. That’s enough to wash seven loads of laundry every day for a month. Finding out if a toilet leaks is quick and straightforward. Add a few drops of food coloring or a dye tab to the tank and wait about 15 minutes. If the color appears in the bowl, there is a leak. The cause of a toilet leak is often a worn toilet flapper, which can break down over time. And, when in doubt, be sure to consult a professional plumber.

Need tips or help?

For other water-saving tips, visit