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 san-diegp-water-supplyto get the new couch you planned or make your own coffee for a month. When you don't spend your hard-earned dollars, you create a supply of money for other things.

Water supply is no different.

We import 80 percent of our drinkable water from outside the area. We need some safety upgrades. The best way to increase our local water supply is by using less when we can to leave more when we need it. And 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.
    • 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. (Still addicted to grass, tear out your turf and replace it with beautiful native plants that use less water.)
    • When taking your vehicle to a car wash, take it to a place that recycles its wash water.
    • 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. (That's a 75% reduction in global water impact with each sip!)
    • Check with the 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)

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Drinkable Facts

  • Recent research estimated that gastrointestinal illnesses caused by contaminated coastal waters translated into an annual economic loss of $21 or $51 million.
  • Recent research estimated that contaminated coastal waters at beaches in Los Angeles and Orange County caused between 627,800 and 1,479,200 cases of gastrointestinal illnesses.
  • The Potable Water Reuse facility could reduce the cost to upgrade the Point Loma sewage treatment facility by almost 50%.
  • The State Water Project, which brings water from Northern California down to Southern California, uses an average 5 billion kWh/yr of electricity - making it the largest single energy user in the state.
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