Water Conservation in San Diego

When you need to fix the brakes on your car or the roof of your home, where do you find the money to do it? Maybe you dig into your vacation fund, decide not dsc00328-sto get the new TV you’ve had your eye on, or you decide to make your own coffee for a month instead of going out for it. When you don’t spend your hard-earned dollars, you create a surplus supply of money for other things.

Water supply is no different.

In San Diego, we import a staggering 80 percent of our drinkable water from other regions. This dependence on imported water keeps our city reliant on external sources to feed our demand for water to use in our homes and on our landscapes, and keeps us at the mercy of not only our own local drought, but drought conditions and water supply issues in the regions from which we import our water as well. With years of drought under our belts and more in the horizon, we need to fundamentally rethink the value of water and reboot our our relationship with this precious and vital resource. Just like when you start cutting back on your spending when you need to save up money for those new brakes for your car, the best way to increase our local water supply is by using less when we can to leave more when we need it. And the best part? It’s free!

Easy Ways to Conserve Water

In Your Home: 

    • While waiting for hot water to come through the pipes, catch the cool water in a bucket or a watering can. Use this water later to water plants or refill your pet’s water dish.
    • Hand-wash dishes once a day using a minimal amount of detergent to cut rinsing. Use a sprayer or short blasts of water to rinse.
    • Replace regular showerheads with low-flow versions to save up to 230 gallons a week.
    • Turn the water off while brushing your teeth or shaving.
    • Channel your inner plumber. You can save more than 150 gallons for each leak that you fix inside and outside of your home. Think about faucets, fixtures and pipes.
    • Flush the toilet only when necessary. Never use the toilet as an ashtray or wastebasket.
    • Never do laundry or run the dishwasher with less than a full load. This simple method can save up to 30 gallons per week. (back to top)


    • Save up to 250 gallons of water a week when watering your lawn! Water your landscaping before dawn or after the sun sets when there’s less evaporation. Adjust your sprinklers so they don’t spray on sidewalks, driveways or streets.
    • Better yet, move past your addiction to grass and tear out your turf, then replace it with beautiful native plants that are adapted to live on the water our region provides.
    • Take your car to a carwash that recycles its wash water instead of hand washing your car at home. As a bonus, this will help prevent sudsy water going down the stormdrain and polluting our ocean as well.
    • Always use a broom when cleaning your driveway, patio or balcony; never a hose. (Be aware, if you hose dirty water into the street, you could also be in violation of laws that prohibit sending pollution down the storm drain!)
    • Work with your HOA to make sure your representatives aren’t wasting water and money! (back to top)

At Work

    • Install a water filtration system so that fresh, clean water flows directly into people’s reusable glasses, bottles and mugs. This may prevent people from using hundreds of single use bottles that take three times as much water to produce as they hold to drink.
    • Check with your building’s landscaping and maintenance crews to make sure they use water-friendly practices to clean and care for your building.
    • Invest in low-flow toilets or automatic faucets.
    • Share the love: invite your colleagues to a San Diego Coastkeeper event to learn more about how they can join you to protect and conserve our water!

If you see a household, company or project wasting water, please report them to us using this secure anonymous online form. (back to top)