Loch Lomond Reservoir
in the Santa Cruz Mountains

Since we live in an area that is prone to prolonged dry conditions, it is always important to maintain good conservation practices. And while much of California benefits from snowfall in the Sierras as well as large federal and state water projects, here in Santa Cruz County we rely primarily on surface and groundwater stored in reservoirs, rivers and streams.

To be a good water steward, it is recommended that you keep your daily water use to about 45 gallons per person. To get an idea of how quickly water use adds up, every flush takes about 1.2 gallons of water and every minute in the shower uses almost two gallons. And don’t forget, saving water can also save you money (on your water bill).

Here are some water-wise tips:

  • Don't let water run while washing dishes by hand.
  • Run the dishwasher only when full.
  • Soak pots and pans instead of letting water run.
  • Repair leaky faucets and toilets. Check your toilets for leaks by adding food coloring to the tank. If the color appears in the bowl after 15 minutes, you have a leak.
  • Install low-flow showerheads and aerators on faucets (check for free offers).
  • Install a high-efficiency toilet (check for rebates).
  • Take five-minute (or less) showers.
  • Turn water off while brushing teeth or shaving.
  • Run the washing machine with only full loads.
  • Save water outdoors with water-smart gardening and landscaping.

For more tips to save water, plus information on rebates  to help pay for water saving upgrades (and even free devices such as showerheads and faucet aerators) visit WaterSavingTips.org.