Update on the Drought
As California enters a fourth straight year of drought, water remains a critical issue for the state. Winter storms in some regions have provided relief, however, surface and groundwater levels remain alarmingly low, and Californians must stay diligent with their efforts to reduce water usage at their homes and businesses. It may take years to replenish the state’s water supplies to healthy levels.
Facts You May Not Know About The Drought:
- California’s water supply is largely reliant on snow. Snowpack in the Sierra Nevada and southern Cascade mountains provides roughly a third of the water that is used throughout California in a normal water year.
- This natural reservoir storage provides approximately 15 million acre-feet of water in a typical year, equivalent to almost 4.9 trillion gallons of water or enough water to fill Pasadena’s Rose Bowl stadium 58,000 times.
- Green lawns and beautiful plants make California picture perfect. Unfortunately, outdoor landscape watering accounts for a significant percentage of the state’s residential water use. In some communities, that number can be as high as 80 percent!
- The drought has also taken a toll on the state’s groundwater basins, which serve as the sole source of water for many communities. Basins in most areas of the state are at historically low levels. Collectively, groundwater basins represent California’s largest reservoir, approximately 10 times the combined size of the state’s surface reservoirs
- Groundwater accounts for roughly 40 percent of the state’s water supply during an average year. In some regions of California, that ratio increases to 60 percent during dry or drought years, as groundwater pumping increases to compensate for surface water supply shortages.
- Maintaining sufficient groundwater basin levels is important to avoid dry wells, water quality issues, seawater intrusion, land subsidence and stream depletion
Golden State Water customers should feel confident knowing the company has taken a leadership role on basin management issues in its service areas throughout the state. We work closely with neighboring water providers, community leaders and state officials to ensure local basins are managed properly to protect and sustain the valuable underground water supplies. Golden State Water and its partners offer programs and rebates to help customers improve their outdoor water-use efficiency. Visit gswater.com for programs and additional information in your area.
Golden State Water is happy to share a list of water-use efficiency tips to encourage everyone to save water!
- Water before 8 a.m. or after 6 p.m. and no more than three days per week.
- Turn off irrigation systems during rainy periods.
- Reduce watering times during cooler seasons to no more than two times per week and four minutes per cycle.
- Check sprinklers often for breaks and to ensure your lawn is watered and not the house, sidewalk, or street.
- Use hoses with shutoff nozzles to wash cars or take your car to a car wash that recycles its water.
- Add mulch around plants to reduce evaporation and keep the soil cool.
- Plant the right plants for your climate.
- Fix running toilets to save gallons. Test: try putting 3 or 4 drops of food coloring in your toilet tank and wait 15 minutes. If the color drips into the bowl without flushing, there’s a leak.
- Faucet aerators available for free from Golden State Water.
- Keep showers to five minutes.
- A bath can use up to 70 gallons of water. Take a short shower instead.
- Only run full loads of laundry and dishes.
- When washing dishes by hand, fill the sink instead of letting the water run.
Go to www.gswater.com to get additional tips and resources to conserve water.