SACRAMENTO, CA--(Marketwired - Jun 28, 2013) - Because July is peak month for outdoor water use, Gov. Edmund G. Brown Jr. has announced the month as "Water Smart Month." The governor's announcement is part of the state's ongoing effort to educate the public about ways to conserve water, principally through the statewide Save Our Water program. California's Water Smart Month coincides with a national effort to increase the public's knowledge about improved technology for sprinklers, drip irrigation and sprinkler timers.
The Save Our Water program, which was created by the California Department of Water Resources (DWR) and the Association of California Water Agencies (ACWA) in 2009, educates consumers on ways to reduce their household water use. Outdoor water use is a major focus of the program since, in many areas, 50 percent or more of residential water use goes to lawns and outdoor landscaping.
"July is the perfect time to increase water awareness throughout the state," Brown wrote. "The snow packs are shrinking and the state will not see its reservoirs begin to fill again until fall. Low consumption practices and technology will help keep water in the streams and lakes for all to enjoy."
Brown continued, "I invite all Californians to practice more sustainable water consumption, whether it be watering the lawn less frequently, constructing a drip irrigation system for the garden or upgrading existing systems with smart irrigation controllers."
Save Our Water launched a new web portal, Sprinklers 101, in May aimed at helping homeowners and landscaping professionals conserve more water outdoors. Sprinklers 101 provides information on installing and converting an existing system to drip irrigation, information on smart controllers and links to sprinkler controller manuals (for homeowners who may not know how to program their current controller). Landscape professionals will find information about water-wise gardening, professional licensing and education and more.
"Whether it is simply fixing a broken sprinkler, switching out old-fashioned sprinklers for modern, water-efficient sprinklers or installing a smart controller, there are many easy ways to save water outdoors," said DWR Director Mark Cowin. "With its warm weather and long days, July is a great time to check your sprinkler system."
Despite an extremely wet December, California's winter ultimately turned out to be one of the driest on record. The final snow survey showed that the water content in California's snowpack was only 17 percent of normal. If the next winter is also drier than normal, state water managers are concerned the state may be facing a serious drought which could result in residential water restrictions.
"Given California's climate, water conservation needs to be a daily habit," said Jennifer Persike, ACWA's Deputy Executive Director for External Affairs and Operations. "But this year, after an unusually dry winter, it is critical that we all do our part to help stretch the state's water supply. Cutting back on outdoor water use by watering smarter is an easy way to save."
To learn more about the Save Our Water program, visit www.saveourh2o.org or follow us on Facebook or Twitter. Save Our Water is a joint program founded and run by the California Department of Water Resources and the Association of California Water Agencies.