SOURCE: Association of California Water Agencies

Association of California Water Agencies

March 07, 2014 15:17 ET

Save Our Water Urges Californians to "Change Your Clocks, Check Your Sprinklers" on March 9

Recent Rains Mean No Need to Water Outdoors for Weeks

SACRAMENTO, CA--(Marketwired - Mar 7, 2014) -  Recent rains are not enough to end the drought, but they are enough to eliminate the need to water lawns and landscaping in many parts of California for at least the next few weeks.

The Save Our Water program is calling on Californians to check their sprinklers -- and turn them off for the next few weeks -- when they move their clocks forward on Sunday, March 9, for Daylight Saving Time.

Save Our Water, the state's largest water conservation program, is encouraging Californians to use the time change as a reminder to check their sprinkler systems for leaks and reset their timers. This year, Daylight Saving Time coincides with a series of recent storms that will allow residents and businesses to completely shut off their sprinkler and irrigation systems until soils dry again.

Depending upon local conditions and near-term weather, irrigation may not be needed for a month or more.

"We can reap twice as much from the latest storms if people take full advantage of the natural precipitation and shut off sprinklers," said Department of Water Resources Director Mark Cowin. "Three dry years in a row have left our major reservoirs low, and we need to conserve those supplies in case drought conditions persist into the next rainy season. There's no need to water lawns, parks, median strips, or any landscaping already soaked by these recent storms."

Most people use more water outdoors than indoors. Sprinkler systems are the biggest culprit. Stopping leaks and setting sprinkler timers correctly -- or turning them off completely -- is an easy way to save water during California's ongoing drought.

For more on how to shut off and re-program your sprinklers, read our Frequently Asked Questions document.

For information and online resources on water-efficient irrigation -- including easy-to-understand facts about how residential sprinkler systems work, links to several sprinkler system manuals, information on drip irrigation and other smart ways to reduce landscape water use -- visit our "Sprinklers 101" section here.

Other smart watering tips detailed at the Save Our Water website:

  • Water only in the early morning or late evening. Cooler temperatures reduce evaporation.
  • Check your sprinkler system frequently and adjust so that you are not watering the hose, sidewalk, or street.
  • Put mulch around trees and plants to cool soil and reduce evaporation.
  • Consider installing a drip irrigation system, which applies water precisely, with less waste.
  • Choose plants based on their adaptability to your climate. Check the Sunset Plant Finder to learn about water-wise plants that thrive in your region: plantfinder.sunset.com/plant-home.jsp .
  • If you find yourself walking on your lawn only to mow it, consider replacing it with water-wise landscaping that reduces the need for water and maintenance.
  • Check with your local water district for a free visit from a water conservation specialist, rebates on water-wise appliances, or "cash for grass" incentives to replace lawn with water-wise landscaping.

With California facing one of the most severe droughts on record, Governor Brown declared a drought State of Emergency in January and directed state officials to take all necessary actions to prepare for water shortages.

Governor Brown has called on all Californians to voluntarily reduce their water usage by 20%, and the Save Our Water campaign launched four public service announcements encouraging residents to conserve. Save Our Water also has resources available in Spanish. Visit www.saveourh2o.org to learn more.

For more ways to save and 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 partnership between the California Department of Water Resources and the Association of California Water Agencies

Contact Information

  • Media Contacts:
    Jennifer Persike
    Association of California Water Agencies
    916-441-4545 or 916-296-3981 (cell)
    Email Contact

    Nancy Vogel
    Dept. of Water Resources
    916-651-7512
    Email Contact