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Fall Back and Adjust Irrigation Systems to Save Water

November 03, 2022

Seasonal adjustments reduce water waste

The end of daylight saving time on Sunday offers residents a reminder to assess their outdoor watering needs and adjust their irrigation systems to reduce water waste – an especially important step as California enters a fourth straight year of drought. Plants simply don’t need as much water during cooler months, and they typically don’t need irrigation for several days after heavy rains.

“This is a great time to make sure irrigation systems are working properly and delivering the right amount of water,” said Jeff Stephenson, a water resources manager for the San Diego County Water Authority. “After three years of drought, using water efficiently and eliminating water-wasting practices is a critical part of preserving more of our precious supply.”

The 2022 “water year” (October 2021-September 2022) was the driest in California in more than a century. While San Diego County’s investments in supply reliability continue to protect the region, national weather models suggest drought will continue to strain water resources across the West and make water conservation a priority in 2023.

Outdoor watering accounts for more than half of a typical household’s water use in California. Making seasonal adjustments to irrigation controllers can help reduce water waste and lead to healthier landscapes. Water-saving practices include turning off irrigation systems when rainstorms are predicted and leaving them off for at least a week after significant rainfall. It’s also a good time to change batteries in irrigation timers to make sure they function well through the winter. 

Using water efficiently indoors and outdoors is easier than ever thanks to online resources offered by the Water Authority at www.watersmartsd.org. The site is filled with information about conservation incentives, and it includes tools and programs designed to make the most of the region’s most precious natural resource. Saving water is easier than many people realize. A few simple changes can make a big difference – especially outdoors. Homeowners and businesses in San Diego County can receive between $2 and $4 per square foot to remove turf and replace it with low water-use plants suited to the hot and dry conditions that are common in our region. All customers are eligible for the base rebate of $2 per square foot; some agencies offer additional funding, including the City of San Diego and the County of San Diego. Rebates, classes and incentives available to all residents and businesses in San Diego County are at: www.sdcwa.org/your-water/conservation/.

  • The San Diego County Water Authority sustains a $240 billion regional economy and the quality of life for 3.3 million residents through a multi-decade water supply diversification plan, major infrastructure investments and forward-thinking policies that promote fiscal and environmental responsibility. A public agency created in 1944, the Water Authority delivers wholesale water supplies to 24 retail water providers, including cities, special districts and a military base.

    Media Contact Information

    Ed Joyce

    Phone: (949) 276-1675

    Email: Ejoyce@sdcwa.org