10 WaterSmart Tips When in Drought

Simple Ways to Water Efficiency in San Diego County

Not sure where to start? Request a free WaterSmart checkup from a qualified water use professional who will come to your home or business to evaluate your water use and offer tailored suggestions as well as check for leaks. Until your appointment, check out these 10 easy, low cost tips below. Also, to view a fact sheet of indoor and outdoor tips for residents, click here. 

  1. Toothbrush

    Turn off the faucet while you brush your teeth, shave or scrub a dish.

    Save 2 gallons per minute

    No matter how mesmerizing it is to watch water go down the drain while brushing your teeth, it's not worth the cost! Save that precious resource for the moments you actually need it. When shaving, you can use a bowl with a small amount of water to rinse your razor between swipes. For washing dishes, just turn off the faucet while you scrub. These small habits make a big difference in water efficiency.

  2. Showerhead Image

    Take a shorter shower and collect water for plants while the water is warming up.

    Save 2.5 gallons per minute

    You don't have to tough it out like a Navy SEAL in an icy shower to make the most of your shower water. You can catch the cold water in a bucket until you're ready to get in. Then use that captured water for watering plants, or even cleaning (like mopping).

  3. Scrape food waste from dishes and cookware into the garbage instead of rinsing it down the drain.

    Save up to 20 gallons

    Save the strain on your drain! Instead of running that disposal into the ground, just toss your scraps into the trash. Better yet do some digging on how to compost. Many food scraps can serve the greater purpose of fertilizing your yard.

  4. Program your dishwasher to skip the pre-rinse and extra-rinse cycles.

    Save 2-4 gallons per load

    Of course we all need clean dishware, but the extra cycles aren't necessary. Scrub your dishes a little before putting them in the dishwasher, and they'll come out sparkling clean. Our community and your toned arms will thank you.

  5. Wash only full loads of laundry.

    Save up to 50 gallons per load

    You can wait to wash that super cute new sweater you just bought until you have a full load of laundry to throw in the washer. There's no need to forego wardrobe hygiene, but to maximize laundry efficiency, wait until you have a full bundle before running the washing machine. Let those forgotten favorites see the light of day and save money on both your water and electricity bills.

  6. Use a hose nozzle that shuts off when you release the handle.

    Save up to 18 gallons per minute

    Pull the trigger and get just the amount of water you need from the hose. Avoid excessive run-off and puddles with a relatively inexpensive nozzle. This simple precision tool will make watering and car washing more efficient and turn you into a weekend warrior master.

  7. Water in the early morning to minimize evaporation.

    Save 20-25 gallons per day

    When you take your morning coffee, your plants can take their morning watering. Watering in the early morning hours will help your plants beat the heat throughout the week, because less water will evaporate during cooler morning temps.

  8. Sprinkler Controller Image

    Turn off your irrigation 1-3 days before it's expected to rain. Turn it back on when your soil is dry. If you're not sure when your soil is dry, use a moisture meter to check.

    Savings vary

    If rain is in the forecast, take advantage of the free sprinkle. Most plants don't need water every day to survive; many even do best when their roots get the chance to dry out a little. Check up on the specific needs of your plants and plan accordingly taking weather into account.

  9. Sprinkler Image

    Inspect and adjust overspraying sprinklers.

    Save up to 10 gallons per minute per leak

    Don't water your driveway! Or your fence, side of the house, or any other inanimate objects. Make sure the water you're using gets to where it belongs. Tightening up the spray radius may be all it takes to become more efficient. Sprinklers come with varying spray patterns, so it may be best to invest in a new one with a better fit for your yard.

  10. Maintain Your Mulch

    Savings vary

    Maintaining a three-inch layer of mulch around trees and plants protects soil from direct sunlight and evaporation. It also absorbs water, reducing runoff and providing more moisture for your soil.

These tips will help you cut down your water usage with minimal changes to your lifestyle. In time of drought, we can all work together to achieve major water savings in San Diego County.

Get great residential resources and start saving water right away.

For more indoor and outdoor tips for residents, click here.