Trust in Tap

Did you know that the water that flows straight to your tap is safe, environmentally-friendly and cheaper than bottled water?

The Santa Ana Watershed Project Authority (SAWPA) and its water-wise regional partners deliver high-quality and safe water to you 24/7 for all your daily uses. From gulping down an ice-cold cup of tap water after a workout to quenching the thirst of your household plants, tap water plays a crucial role in our daily lives.

Take a peek at the benefits of tap water in our new video, and celebrate the fact that you can always ‘Trust in Tap!’

As a regional leader in water, SAWPA thinks outside the bottle to preserve our watershed through strategic planning, regional partnerships, conservation programs and educational opportunities in the region.

Explore these reasons why your tap water is trusted, reliable and safe:

Trust in tap safety

Your tap water undergoes stringent testing and regulations. Your local water agencies and authorities are guided by, and comply with, the Clean Water Act and the Safe Drinking Water Act. These two Environmental Protection Agency guidelines position public health and environmental safety as top priorities.

Trust in tap sustainability

Tap into your sustainable side and drink with a clear conscience. When thinking tap or bottle, we know which is better for the environment. Be a part of the change to stop the use of single-use plastic bottles which pollute our planet. When you rely on tap water instead of bottled water to quench your thirst, you have the opportunity to fill up a reusable water bottle, which will save hundreds of plastic bottles from becoming pollution.

Trust in tap costs

You also save money when choosing tap water. When you drink from your tap and pay your water bill, you are investing in your local water resources and projects instead of adding profits to a private water bottling company. Our SoCal tap water is sourced through a combination of local groundwater and imported water. This process is more locally sustainable in the face of emergencies and less costly than purchasing water from far away. Additionally, our water delivery infrastructure allows for tap water to flow directly into your home or business.

With so many reasons to trust in tap, we hope you will join us in thinking outside the bottle! To learn more about the safety of your water, visit our water safety page.

Keep the conversation flowing by following us on social media and sharing your water-saving strategies! 

Facebook: @SoCalTapWater 

Twitter: @SoCalTapWater 

We Love Water-Wise Landscapes 

Southern California is home to some of the world’s most beautiful plant varieties. Just take a walk down your neighborhood street to explore an eye-candy feast of enchanting flowers, succulents, shrubs and fruit trees. The diverse SoCal ecosystem supplies no shortage of lush landscape options to imagine in your own backyard. 

According to the Environmental Protection Agency, outdoor water use accounts for an average of 30% of total household water use in the U.S., but that percentage can rise to as high as 60% in arid regions like Southern California.  

Consider this: When the average-sized lawn is watered for 20 minutes every day for one week, that’s the equivalent of running the shower constantly for four days. It’s enough water for the average family to take a year’s worth of showers! You can help curb this water waste by updating your home’s outdoor landscape with native, low maintenance, and water-efficient plants.  

The Santa Ana Water Project Authority (SAWPA) and its member agencies know the high value of cutting back on your outdoor water usage. It benefits everyone by conserving water for future generations and lowering your monthly water bill.  

SAWPA’s member agencies understand that planning and executing a landscape project can be intimidating, costly and challenging. That’s why your SoCal water agencies have plenty of resources, rebates and insider tips to offer as you plan any landscape project.  

So before you roll up your sleeves and get out the gardening gloves – check out this helpful list of landscaping resources provided by SAWPA’s member agencies. Tap into all that is available to support your landscape journey every step of the way.  

Eastern Municipal Water District (EMWD)  

Eastern Municipal Water District invites their customers to take advantage of the exciting Landscapes for Living program. Landscapes for Living is an outdoor water use efficiency program that offers rebates and FREE installation of water-saving equipment to help residential customers reduce outdoor water use, save money and gain beautiful yards. It is a one-stop shop for EMWD customers to begin a water-efficient landscape project of any size.  

Visit the Landscapes for Living website to review the wide selection of free services and rebates offered. 

Inland Empire Utilities Agency  (IEUA)

The next time you are on Inland Empire Utilities Agency’s website to pay your water bill, visit the ‘Save Your Water’ section. There, you will find information on water-wise gardening including irrigation techniques, plant guides and recommendations for the hot Inland Empire region, advice from experts, and listings of local gardens to visit for your own landscaping ideas. 

Looking to talk to someone directly regarding your water use efficiency questions? Call IEUA’s Water Use Efficiency Hotline at (909) 993-1952. You’ll also find helpful landscaping resources on the ‘rebates’ page. 

San Bernardino Valley Municipal Water District  (SBVMWD)

Did you know that San Bernardino Municipal Valley Water District (SBVMWD) has free landscape plans on their website that look beautiful and save water? Visit the District’s ‘landscape ideas’ page for green thumb ideas that are water-wise. 

SBVMWD also connects customers to the Water Saving Garden Friendly Inland Empire website where customers can explore beautiful, sustainable and drought-tolerant plants that thrive in the Inland Empire. Visit the site to easily add your favorite plants to a private list that you can print and bring to your favorite nursery. 

Western Municipal Water District  (WMWD)

Western Municipal Water District’s (WMWD) Landscape Style Guide is truly a source of inspiration to cultivate joy in your outdoor spaces. Don’t know where to start? Begin by taking Western’s style quiz to see which option best suits you! Then begin exploring the eight different landscape styles equipped with a “plant-by-numbers guide” to easily undertake your landscape project.  

Want to scrap your landscape or lawn and go turf? No problem! WMWD has you covered with added turf replacement rebates. Currently, customers can apply for Western’s rebate which includes $3 per square foot for the first 1,000 square feet and pair it with Metropolitan Water District’s rebate of $2 per square foot. In total, Western customers can receive $5 in rebates per square foot.  

Keep the conversation flowing by following us on social media and sharing your water-saving strategies! 

Facebook: @SoCalTapWater 

Twitter: @SoCalTapWater 

Empower Your H2O 22

This new year, refresh your water-saving knowledge and create your most water-efficient home yet.  

As Californians, we know that every raindrop, snowflake and turn of the faucet counts. This month, we’re focusing on empowering you to save water by learning simple at-home hacks and low-priced products to help save this precious resource.  

Discover how to master your water meter and tap into water-saving accessories to trim usage and prevent waste. Dive into 2022 with empowered resolutions focused on conservation!  

Water meter mastery 

If you have running water, you have a water meter that tracks how much water has been used on your property. Learning how to read your water meter is simple and can help promote water efficiency by monitoring water usage and catching any leaks.  

Your water meter and your monthly water bill work in tandem. Water agencies calculate bills based on what your meter reads. Taking time to periodically check your water meter could help detect any problems before you see a spike on your monthly statement. Here’s how: 

1) Locate your meter box: Most water meters have a concrete cover over it. For residential houses, meter boxes can often be found by the curb or near the street at the front of the home. If you live in an apartment or condo, we encourage you to contact your property manager to ask about the location of your water meter.  

2) Remove the concrete cover safely: Practice safety and caution when opening concrete covers because they are often heavy. You will need a crowbar or flathead screwdriver to help you open it. There may be weeds, roots or some crawly critters living under the concrete cover. Take your time when removing the cover and for added protection wear garden or utility gloves. Once you have prepped for opening the cover, place the crowbar or flathead in the slot located on the top of the concrete cover and pull open. Once removed, place the concrete cover to the side.  

3) Read the water meter: Once you have safely removed the cover, your water meter awaits you. You may need to flip the plastic cover on the meter upwards to reveal the meter.  For analog meters, there are three key components you need to know to read it properly: the dial, odometer and the low flow indicator.  

Odometer: The odometer on the water meter will look like the one on a car’s dashboard. The odometer records the total water usage in cubic feet. For billing purposes, water usage is measured in cubic feet that is then converted to gallons.  

Dial: The dial will look like a clock and typically has a red hand that rotates around the meter. A full rotation of the dial is equal to 1 cubic foot of water usage.   

100 cubic feet = 748 gallons = 1 unit of water billed. 

Low flow indicator: The low flow indicator looks like a miniature version of the dial. It will spin as water flows through your home’s pipes. Keep reading to see how the low flow indicator can help you identify possible leaks on your property!  

4) Investigate for leaks: Your water meter can inform you of leaky pipes before picking up the phone to call a plumber for further inspection. If you have noticed a spike in your water bill, water spots on ceilings or mysterious puddles around your property, chances are that you have a leak.  

To check for leaks on your property, shut off the water to your home by turning off the main water valve. Main water valves are often located next to your water meter outside of the house near the street. Turn the valve clockwise to stop the flow of water to your home. Next, look at your water meter and see if the low flow indicator or smaller dial on the meter is still spinning after you have shut off the main water valve. If the dial is still spinning after you have shut off the water to your home, this typically indicates that there is a leak on your property that needs to be addressed.  

Invest in low-priced water-efficient hardware   

Now that you are a water meter master, it’s time to look around your home for areas where you could upgrade your current hardware. Investing in water-efficient hardware and accessories can seem daunting and expensive, but there are several low-cost options that bring big savings over time. 

Water-efficient shower heads:  

According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), shower heads use 2.5 gallons per minute. For the average American family, that adds up to 40 gallons per day. Water-efficient shower heads use less than 2 gallons per minute without losing pressure, spray or intensity.  

Pool covers:  

Pool covers can dramatically aid in reducing evaporation and keeping dust, leaves and debris from collecting in the pool. Did you know that water evaporation not only happens on hot, dry days but also on cold winter nights? So, whether it’s a sizzling July summer day or a chilly January evening, if you have a pool and it is not in use, always use a pool cover.  

Water-saving sprinklers:  

The EPA also reported residential outdoor water use accounts for 9 billion gallons of water each day. Fixed water sprinklers often mist over landscapes and spray out large amounts of water in the air. This often results in overwatering, uneven coverage and wasted H2O. Replace the nozzle on your sprinklers with an efficient nozzle to decrease water waste. It can lower your monthly bill and is easy to install. 

Pro tip! Most SoCal water agencies also offer rebates for your purchases of specific water-efficient hardware and appliances. When you are ready to upgrade, be sure to contact your local water provider or visit their website to learn more about what rebates are available in your area.   

Keep the conversation flowing by following us on social media and sharing your water-saving strategies! 

Facebook: @SoCalTapWater 

Twitter: @SoCalTapWater 

Investing in a route out of drought Q&A

Water efficiency is no longer a wish-list item or an afterthought – it is a reality that Californians must face together. On Oct. 19, Governor Gavin Newsom declared a drought emergency for the entire state of California, as water saving efforts continue to fall short of the state’s voluntary targets.  

This month, we sat down with the Orange County Water District’s (OCWD) Board Director Bruce Whitaker for a Q&A about regional efforts to mitigate drought, the use of reclaimed water and what the future holds for Southern California’s water infrastructure. Whitaker is also SAWPA’s Vice Chair/Commissioner, serves on the One Watershed One Water (OWOW) Steering Committee and is the Mayor of Fullerton, California.  

Q&A with Bruce Whitaker 

OCWD Board Director Bruce Whitaker

Q: With Governor Newsom recently declaring a drought emergency, it seems more important than ever to help educate consumers. What does drought mitigation mean to you? 

A:  To me, drought mitigation means reducing water use to the greatest extent possible. If we can curtail water waste and the overuse of water, it can make a big impact here in Southern California. The idea is to reduce now for the longer term.  

Q: Tell us about the drought mitigation efforts that OCWD and other Southern California regional groups have initiated during your tenure.

A: Drought mitigation in the long-term means making sure we have resiliency. We need to be able to provide adequate amounts of water to meet requirements. We need to make sure that when you turn on the tap or fire up a fire hose, that clean, safe water comes out. That means that we want to have multiple sources in our water supply. We try to have as many opportunities as possible to help augment our supplies – especially in the very populous area that we occupy.  

For example, the OCWD operates the Groundwater Replenishment System (GWRS), and we are in the middle of a final expansion of that now. It is effectively a new source of water. We recycle runoff and used water, and then we get a second use of that valuable resource.  

OCWD is also very active in the Santa Ana River Conservation and Conjunctive Use Program (SARCCUP), which allows for storage that can be accessible to other areas if they develop shortfalls of water supplies. 

We have been making use of federal government support through the Water Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (WIFIA), which has allowed us to come up with funds to augment and increase water storage and our ability to impound water to be able to recharge our reservoirs and recharge basins. This helps us build insurance against a low water supply.  

Q:What are the key public misconceptions about recycled water?

A: OCWD works very hard in our communication efforts to combat misconceptions about recycled water and change the public perception of it. Our water, when it comes out of the GWRS, is ultra-pure. The nature of ultra-pure water is corrosive to stainless steel pipes, so we actually have to add back in minerals and normalize the PH. Otherwise, we could have infrastructure issues.  

People should have no concern about the safety of this water. I like to say that water is the most renewable of all our resources.  

Q:  How is OCWD investing in local and sustainable water supplies?

A: We serve 19 cities and water agencies that in turn serve 2.5 million customers.

We are blessed here at the Orange County Water District to have a wonderful aquifer that underlies two thirds of Orange County – the northern and the central portions of the county. 

This low-cost source of water is naturally purified. We have recharge basins that we own and operate in the cities of Anaheim and Orange which are adjacent to the Santa Ana River. Mother Nature has a great purification plan, and we make the best use we can of that natural resource.  

Q: What ways can the public help with drought mitigation? 

A: Stop watering non-essential turf. A couple of years ago, we were all encouraged to go xeriscape with our lawns. For the average residential use of water, more than half is used for landscaping purposes.  

Many agencies and local water providers offer incentives for water-efficient appliances such as water saving toilets, faucets, showers and more. We do a lot to encourage reduced use and that is working. In the past 20 years in California, we have had substantial population growth, yet the amount of water we are using is about the same as it was 20 years ago.  

Keep the conversation flowing by following us on social media and sharing your water-saving strategies! 

Facebook: @SoCalTapWater 

Twitter: @SoCalTapWater 

Water efficiency is no longer a wish-list item or an afterthought – it is a reality that Californians must face together. On Oct. 19, Governor Gavin Newsom declared a drought emergency for the entire state of California, as water saving efforts continue to fall short of the state’s voluntary targets.  

We all must find ways to step up water use efficiency efforts in our daily lives by being more mindful about indoor and outdoor use. This month we are breaking down how to practice mindfulness when it comes to your water use efficiency. By adjusting your daily water use habits, together, we can make positive impacts on protecting our local and state water supplies. 

See where you can save  

Take a deep dive into examining your where water is most overused in and around your household or business. Is it your landscape, kitchen, bathroom, or laundry room? Do you have any leaking faucets or pipes on your property? Identify the primary source of water usage to guide how you will step up efficiency in the areas that need immediate attention.   

Set intentions for your new habits  

When building a new habit, it is important to set goals for what you intend to accomplish through your actions. Check out the questions below and write down your answers on a note pad or sticky note. When you’re done, display the note near a sink or shower to stay reminded of your water efficiency intentions.  

  1. What is one thing I can do to save water in the morning?  

(Example: Turn off the water while brushing my teeth; place a bucket to catch water in the shower while the water warms up to use for plant irrigation.)  

  1. What is one thing I can do to save water in the evening?  

(Example: Run the washing machine only when it is completely full; soak fruits and veggies in a bowl of water instead of washing them under running water.)  

Listen to Mother Nature 

“One of the best ways to be efficient with your watering is to pay attention to the weather,” said Rob Whipple, water resources specialist for Western Municipal Water District. “If it has rained, shut off your irrigation system for a week or so – that way, you will not overwater your landscaping.”  

Whipple also recommends tuning into the time of year and practicing seasonal water use adjustments by using weather-based irrigation controllers and cutting minutes and days off of irrigation schedules. In Southern California, the rainy seasons typically begins this month and continues into March.  

“As we move into fall and winter, the best practice is to cut your irrigation system way back or shut off your system altogether for the season,” Whipple said.  

Tap into efficient tools  

It is simple to know which option is better for the environment when it comes to tap or bottle. Millions of si

Now is the time to consider investing in water-efficient tools, appliances and upgrades for your home or business. If you want to invest in water-wise appliances for your property, water-efficient washing machines and toilets are the best options to save H2O and lower your monthly bill. However, you do not have to spend large amounts of money on upgrades to start saving today.  

“Install a smart timer on your irrigation system and replace your sprinkler heads with water-efficient nozzles,” Whipple said. “These are small but mighty ways you can keep your monthly bill low, save water and still make sure your landscapes look great!” 

Western Municipal Water District offers enhanced residential and commercial rebates for their customers through their Rebate H2O program. In addition, Western provides a variety of free and low-cost programs to help customers save more. Most water districts offer similar programs – contact yours to find rebates you can put to use in your own home. 

Reflect on what water means to you  

Pause, reflect and enjoy a big sip of water. A large part of being mindful is connecting to your personal “why.” Too often, we take for granted the water we have access to from the simple turn of a faucet. Take time to cherish water! Reflect or meditate on what having access to clean, reliable, and safe water 24/7 means to you.  

Want to take this a step further? Start a gratitude list that is just about water. Write down a list of reasons you are grateful for water and reflect on how water improves your daily life.  

By pairing new habits with knowledge, we can protect our most precious resource – water. Keep the conversation going by following us on social media and sharing your water-saving strategies! 

Facebook: @SoCalTapWater 

Twitter: @SoCalTapWater 

Tap Water Scare Tactics  

This Halloween season we are tapping into the truth about tap versus bottled water. Water scare tactics are being used to sway the public into buying bottled water, but they simply aren’t true.  

Don’t let these tap water scare tactics spook you from making use of the high-quality, safe and clean H2O available straight from your faucet. Let’s debunk the myths about tap water safety – tap water is actually held to much higher standards than bottled water. 

Tap scare tactic #1: Bottled water is specially sourced.  

Though your bottled water may advertise that it was sourced from a famous mountainside or beautiful river, that bottled is oftentimes – you guessed it – just tap water. That’s right, water bottle brands are selling you what you already have at home for a 100% price markup. Don’t let bottled water marketing fool you into buying what you already have, straight from your faucet.  

Tap scare tactic #2: Bottled water is better for my health.  

The marketing behind bottled water is strategic and creative. From colorful branding to promises of health benefits, the bottled water industry knows how to attract consumers. But here’s the truth: drinking bottled water can actually expose you to toxins from microplastics that may have infiltrated the water during manufacturing. This is a process that tap water does not use and thus avoids any contamination from BPA’s and other plastic toxins.   

Tap scare tactic #3: Bottled water is more regulated than tap water.  

Local water agencies and authorities are guided by, and comply with, the Clean Water Act and the Safe Drinking Water Act. These two Environmental Protection Agency guidelines position public health and environmental safety as top priorities. The Safe Drinking Water Act requires all public water systems to notify customers annually regarding the quality of the water they receive. Does your bottled water company do that? Most likely, the answer is no.  

Tap scare tactic #4: Bottled water is better for the environment.  

It is simple to know which option is better for the environment when it comes to tap or bottle. Millions of single-use plastic bottles become pollution each year as a result of bottled water not being properly disposed of. When you rely on tap water instead of bottled water to quench your thirst, you have the opportunity to fill up a reusable water bottle and can save hundreds of plastic bottles from becoming pollution.  

For all the latest tips, hacks and truths on SoCal tap water, follow us on social media:

Facebook: @SoCalTapWater

Twitter: @SoCalTapWater 

Whether it’s an earthquake, wildfire or other disaster, Southern California households know that emergency situations can arise without warning. It’s always important to be ready – and what could be more vital than access to drinking water? While our communities may go for many years without a disruption in potable water service, every household should prepare for the possibility by having an emergency supply of water on hand.  

Preparedness is everyone’s job, and that’s why the California Department of Public Health advises each household to have a three-day Emergency Supply Kit. During the first few hours or days following a disaster, essential services may not be available, and people must be ready to act on their own. ​ 

Clean drinking water may not be available in a disaster scenario, if there is a disruption to the systems that keep water flowing to the tap. Your regular water source could be cut-off or compromised through contamination. That’s why as part of emergency preparedness, each family should plan to have an adequate supply of water on hand.  

It might surprise you to learn that you don’t need to pay for bottled water to build your own emergency supply. Tap water is safe, clean and provides great value over bottled water. Here are some tips for storing your own supply of water to be ready in the event of a disaster.

How much water should I store? 

As a general rule, you need at least one gallon of water per person per day for each member of your family. This is considered a minimum level for drinking and sanitation. Be sure to store enough for at least three days for all members of your household, according to  

As a rule of thumb, store more water than you need so that you don’t run short in an emergency. In the relatively warm climate of Southern California, you may want to double this amount because high temperatures can increase your need for water – especially if a disaster occurs during the summertime. 

What’s the best way to store water? 

There are several ways you can make sure your emergency water supply stays fresh and safe for consumption. To prepare your own containers of water, you can purchase food-grade water storage containers to store tap water. A warehouse store is a good place to find large containers, which are also available through online retailers.  

For those on tight budgets, it may not be necessary to spend money on containers. The California Department of Public Health suggests storing water in clean plastic containers such as milk jugs or large soft drink bottles. Before filling with chlorinated water, thoroughly clean the containers with dishwashing soap and sanitize the bottles by cleaning with a solution of one teaspoon of non-scented liquid household chlorine bleach to a quart of water. As an alternative, you can buy commercially bottled water and store it in the sealed original container. 

Be sure to store your water supply in a cool, dark place. Avoid locations near a window or stove; many households opt for storing water in a closet or outdoor shed. Make sure the containers are sealed tightly to avoid leaks. 

Rotate your supply 

Part of emergency preparedness is ensuring that your supplies are in good condition. This includes water, which should not be stored indefinitely due to the risk of contamination.  

Plan to replace your home-bottled supply every six months with fresh, clean tap water. Check the condition of your water containers and replace, if necessary. If you purchased commercially bottled water, always use it by the printed expiration date. 

Other emergency supplies to have on hand 

Once you have your water supply stocked up, it’s time to turn your attention to overall emergency preparedness for you and your family. Water is just one of the supplies that every household should have on hand during a disaster. As a best practice, every household’s Emergency Supply Kit should include water, food, a First-Aid kit, a flashlight and hygiene items – to name a few. For a full list, visit  

Cheers to National Water Quality Month

What better month to tap into specifics about the quality of your drinking water than August, which is National Water Quality Month? SoCal residents and businesses alike can always feel confident about the quality of their water, because their tap water is always fresh, clean and readily available. That’s the objective of the Santa Ana Watershed Project Authority (SAWPA) and our member agencies. Let’s take a deep dive into what it means to have high-quality water and the benefits it adds to our lives. 

Water quality is a priority.   

Water agencies are guided by two acts that always place public health and environmental safety as top priorities. Water Quality Month dates to the 1970s when two very important congressional acts were passed to protect our water resources. First, in 1972, the Clean Water Act focused on pollution control and made dumping high amounts of toxic materials into bodies of water illegal. In 1974, the Safe Drinking Water Act was passed to further protect the water designated for drinking use both under and above ground.   

Water quality is a guarantee.   

SAWPA’s member agencies adhere to both federal and state strict standards for water to ensure that your tap water is always clean and safe. They are also continuously investing in improved water infrastructure and supporting public policies that protect water sources.   

Water quality is transparent.   

It is no secret here how water is sourced, treated, tested, and delivered. Your water agency tests the water delivered to your home or business hundreds of times annually to ensure that what you receive from your tap is always top quality. The Safe Drinking Water Act requires all public water systems to notify customers annually regarding the quality of the water they receive. For questions about your water agency’s water quality report, visit their website or contact them to receive a copy.  

Water quality is a blessing.   

Water is the source of all life. It fuels our families, animals, agriculture, the economy, and more. Without clean, high-quality water, our daily lives would look very different. We are fortunate to live in a country and state that values water quality and takes it very seriously. So, pour a refreshing glass of tap water and cheers to your high-quality SoCal H2O. 

🎶 Summertime and the livin’ is easy! Fish are jumping and the water bill is high! 🎶  

Who doesn’t love summertime in Southern California? If we had to take a guess, we would say your water meter. SoCal summers bring us sunbathing at the beach, surfing swells, lazily lounging poolside and soaking in loads of sunshine. Nevertheless, the season is also accompanied by drought and significant water shortages. 

As we enter into an exciting summer of reemerging into the world after a year of social distancing, water conservation should be a priority. When we all make simple and small changes at home, we can make a major difference collectively. Every drop counts!  

Check out these handy water-wise tips for conserving: 


In the bathroom:  

  • When warming up your next shower, place a bucket under your tub or showerhead faucet to collect the water that often gets wasted. That collected water can be used to water house plants or your garden. Consider it your indoor rain barrel!   
  • Limit time and water use when you shower this summer. An easy way to manage your water use in the shower is to use water wisely, and only when needed. If you take extra time to lather shampoo and conditioner in your hair, turn off the shower while you do so.   
  • Turn off the water while brushing your teeth or shaving your face. Instead fill up a cup of water before you begin brushing or shaving and use the cup for rinsing. This small trick will save gallons!   

In the kitchen:   

  • Only run the dishwasher when it is full. Pack your dishwasher to the brim with a full load of cups, silverware and plates before running it. 
  • If you need to wash large pots, pans or cooking sheets, do not continuously run water over them. Instead, allow these items to soak in soapy water for an extended period and then scrub.   
  • Place those pesky dropped ice cubes into small house plants instead of kicking them under the fridge or tossing them in the sink. The cube will melt and soak right into the soil of your house plants to keep them hydrated!  


In the yard, garden and driveway:   

  • Go native and drought-tolerant with your landscape design. By selecting plant species that are native to our dry region, you can save water, money and time on irrigating by sporting a garden full of plants that can survive through periods of drought.   
  • Water your yard and garden in the evenings and mornings to avoid high evaporation times such as midday and the afternoon. The soil will be able to retain more moisture during the cooler temperatures of the mornings and evenings. 
  • Mow high! Turn the notch up on your mower a little higher during the summer to help shade the soil and prevent evaporation.    
  • Sweep – don’t spray – the next time you want to clean off pavement around your home. Spraying your driveway clean not only wastes water but could spread automotive fluids in your driveway into the natural landscape and waterways. Keep it simple and sweep your driveway instead.   
  • Skip the weekly car wash and opt for less frequent washes to save money and water this summer.   

The Water (Re)cycle

Here’s a water truth that likely doesn’t swim across your mind too often: The water we use for all our daily needs and activities is the water that has always been on our planet. From rain, rivers, oceans, lakes, springs and aquifers – the water that Earth has given us is the water we will always have.  

Water resource planners, engineers and specialists have tapped into innovative strategies to keep our water supply flowing strong and steady. For decades, water agencies have been treating and recycling used water which plays a crucial role in making the most of the water we have available. For states like California that are prone to droughts and a population reflecting increasing demands on available water supply, this is an essential and sustainable approach to meet the demand for water.  

Recycling water for reuse is drought resistant, ecofriendly and sustainable. It allows Southern California water agencies to be less dependent on often more costly water sources such as imported water. It also supports local water infrastructure by helping to offset capacity issues.  

When water is used and rinsed down drains, showers, tubs and toilets it becomes wastewater. In short, wastewater is used water that contains waste. The wastewater drains through underground pipes and sewers, collected by wastewater agencies and delivered to a water recycling facility for treatment.  

By separating solid materials from the wastewater, settling of particulates, filtration and treatment processes, the wastewater is cleaned and ready for non-potable reuse. The cleaned, treated and recycled water is regularly tested to ensure it meets and exceeds state and federal standards.  

Recycled water is non-potable meaning it is not intended for human use. We do not ingest, drink or clean with recycled water. However, recycled water takes on a variety of other roles in our lives. 

Where is recycled water used? 

  • Outdoor landscape irrigation at public parks, schools, roadway landscapes, golf courses and cemeteries  
  • Agricultural use to water crops and plants  
  • Industrial uses at manufacturing plants  
  • Air conditioning units 
  • Car washes 
  • Street cleaning  
  • Decorative fountains  

Where is recycled water NOT directly used? 

  • Drinking water 
  • Showers and baths  
  • Cooking  
  • Residential toilets  
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