Tag Archive for: Water Use

State Releases California Water Plan Update 2023: A Roadmap to Water Management and Infrastructure for a Water Resilient Future

The California Department of Water Resources (DWR) has released the final version of California Water Plan Update 2023. This plan is a critical planning tool and can now be used by water managers, such as water districts, cities and counties, and Tribal communities, to inform and guide the use and development of water resources in the state.

Water Districts Gain Access to New Supply

Millions of Southern Californians who were required to dramatically reduce their water use last year will have increased access to water in the future under two projects recently announced by the Metropolitan Water District.

Metropolitan—the nation’s largest water wholesaler and sole water provider to the local Las Virgenes and Calleguas municipal water districts—approved a $9.8-million contract for the Sepulveda Feeder Pump Stations Project that will bring additional water from the Colorado River, as well as water stored at Diamond Valley Lake in Riverside County, to the two local districts.

Excessive Use: Nearly 60K Las Vegans Hit With Water District’s New Fee

One out of every six homes in the Las Vegas Valley Water District’s jurisdiction has been hit with a new fee aimed at curbing the biggest water users and conserving Southern Nevada’s small share of the Colorado River.

And it’s already making a dent when it comes to saving water in the nation’s driest metropolitan area.

Las Vegas Water Use Down 25% This Year, But a Hot Summer Looms

A wet and cool start to 2023 helped Southern Nevada consume 25 percent less water from the drought-stricken Colorado River through the first five months of the year.

From January through May, the region’s consumptive use from the river was just under 61,000 acre-feet of water, Warren Turkett, a natural resource analyst for the Colorado River Commission of Nevada, told commissioners Tuesday. That’s down from nearly 82,000 acre-feet of water consumed during the same time period last year, which was near the same amount the valley consumed in 2021 (84,489 acre-feet) and 2020 (80,885 acre-feet).

Take time to learn about modern irrigation choices during Smart Irrigation Month in July. Photo: Creative Commons

Smart Irrigation Month Highlights Outdoor Water Saving Tips

Water agencies in San Diego County are sharing outdoor water-efficiency tips during “Smart Irrigation Month.”

July was chosen as Smart Irrigation Month in 2005 since its traditionally the month of peak demand for outdoor water use in the county. Landscape irrigation consumes 50% of the typical California home’s monthly water use.

During Smart Irrigation Month, take time to check your irrigation system regularly and correct any leaks, overspray, and runoff. Photo: Tree People

During Smart Irrigation Month, take time to check your irrigation system regularly and correct any leaks, overspray, and runoff. Photo: Tree People

Each year during Smart Irrigation Month, the Irrigation Association highlights the benefits of efficient irrigation and innovations promoting the wise and efficient use of water through this month-long initiative each July.  Irrigation technology innovation updates and efficient irrigation techniques help preserve our water supply.

Smart irrigation

As wireless technology has improved, it has been applied to outdoor systems including irrigation. With a smart irrigation system, homeowners can control water use through smartphone apps and programmable wireless controllers. Water consumption can be monitored to quickly find and correct leaks and maximize water application.

Adopt ‘cycle and soak’ irrigation method to maximize water use

The greatest waste of water in landscape irrigation comes from watering too much, too fast. Instead of watering for 15 consecutive minutes, run sprinklers in five-minute sessions with time in between to allow water to soak into the soil and minimize runoff.

This Vallecitos Water District video illustrates how the “cycle and soak” irrigation method works.

“July is our industry’s opportunity to share its amazing stories about contributing to a sustainable world,” said Irrigation Association CEO Natasha Rankin, MBA, CAE. “By promoting smart irrigation, our industry’s experienced and committed professionals work every day to protect our world’s valuable natural resources while supporting food production and creating landscapes that enhance the quality of life in our communities.”

July is an ideal month to perform a check on current irrigation systems and determine whether any practices can be improved to save water.

The San Diego County Water Authority offers these tips:

  • Select sprinkler heads and nozzles that apply water uniformly to the target area.
  • Inspect your sprinkler heads regularly to make sure they are not obstructed or watering onto the pavement or other hardscapes.
  • Upgrade to a smart controller. Weather and soil moisture-based controllers can automatically adjust your watering schedule based on the conditions at your location.
  • Use drip or low-pressure, low-volume irrigation which applies water directly to the base or roots of plants.
  • If water is applied too quickly, it can run off into the street or sidewalk. Smart irrigation regulates water pressure, ensuring water has a chance to soak into the ground.
  • Less is more when watering turf. Water long enough to soak down to the root zone, then don’t water again until the soil is completely dry. If the grass springs back when you step on it, it has enough water.
  • A rain shut-off device is an inexpensive gadget to add to your sprinkler system.
  • Improve efficiency by watering at the coolest time of day. When it’s hot or windy, more than a third of the water can be lost to evaporation.
Smart Irrigation Month Tips

Are you using all of these smart irrigation tips? Infographic: Irrigation Association

Find more tips and information at WaterSmartSD.org

(Editor’s Note: The Vallecitos Water District is one of the San Diego County Water Authority’s 24 member agencies that deliver water across the San Diego region.)

Imperial Valley Farmers Await Water Deal

California, Arizona and Nevada reached a long-sought consensus last month on how to conserve water and prevent the Colorado River from running dry.

Under the plan for states to reduce their water use by 13% through 2026, farmers in the Imperial Valley are expected to shoulder much of the burden.

Californians Were Asked to Cut Water Use 15% During the Drought. How Close Did They Get?

The results are in: As California endured its three driest years on record, urban water users made a significant effort to conserve water, but fell far short of Gov. Gavin Newsom’s request to reduce their use by 15%.

Between July 2021, when Newsom first called on water users to voluntarily cut back, and March of this year, when he rescinded that request amid a very wet winter, statewide savings were 7%, or about half of what was requested. That amounts to about 9 fewer gallons per person per day, a Los Angeles Times analysis has found.

Opinion: Finding a New Path to Water Conservation for the Next Millennium, for California and the World

In the long sweep of human history, water has always played a central role in determining the geography of civilizations, and eons ago it influenced the migration of our early ancestors out of Africa and across the world. The ability to manage water contributed to the success or failure of empires along the Tigris and Euphrates rivers of the Middle East, the Indus in southern Asia, and the Yangtze in China. This First Age of water saw the earliest efforts to manipulate water with dams, aqueducts and intentional irrigation, and also the first water laws, institutions and water conflicts.

UC Expert Helps Save Water, Increase Supply

Earlier this year, officials in Southern California declared a water shortage emergency resulting in restrictions such as limiting outdoor water use to one day of the week.

California Agencies Float Colorado River Water Cuts Proposal

California water agencies that rely on the parched Colorado River said Wednesday they can reduce their use by one-tenth starting in 2023 in response to calls for cuts from the federal government.