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Media Release

The Results are in- Sacramento’s Water Conservation Efforts are Paying Off

City is saving approximately 16 percent compared to previous two-year average. City departments save more than 50 percent compared to previous two-year average.

Sacramento, Calif. - The City of Sacramento Department of Utilities reports that city water customers saved over 355,000,000 gallons of water in the month of March. The City’s water demands were approximately 62 million gallons of water per day last month, as compared to the average for the month of March over the past two years of 74 million gallons of water per day. This is approximately a 16 percent reduction. The water savings is equivalent to the annual water usage of approximately 2,300 homes.

City of Sacramento departments achieved a 54 percent water use reduction, compared to their average usage for the month of March over the past two years. The City was able to achieve this savings by implementing the following drought mitigation actions:

  • Reduction in parks and recreational facility outdoor irrigation, excluding high use sports fields;
  • Reducing watering of landscaped medians on City streets and roadways;
  • Reduction in car washing of the City Fleet;
  • Placing signage in restrooms and other areas of City buildings to remind of the urgent need to save water;
  • Closely monitoring water consumption in mechanical cooling systems and coil cleaning; and
  • Inventorying plumbing fixtures in City facilities to find opportunities to convert to low water use fixtures.

“It is fantastic to see continued strides towards our twenty percent conservation goal,” said Dave Brent, Director of the Department of Utilities. “Looking at the data, city customers were on track to meet the twenty percent target until the weather warmed up and irrigation picked up, especially on Mondays, Thursdays and Fridays, all of which are non-watering days in Sacramento. To help hit our conservation target and avoid further water use reductions, it is important that all customers only water on the reduced watering schedule and only before 10 a.m. or after 7 p.m. It is also important that if rainy weather returns to the area, that people keep their sprinklers off and when they do turn on their sprinklers to not overwater.”

To help address increased water use on non-watering days, the City implemented increased enforcement of non-watering days on Thursday and Friday with a dawn and dusk patrol.

Increased drought awareness has brought attention to the City’s water conservation codes and has driven up calls for investigation of water misuse. In the month of March, the City received more than 1,250 calls for water conservation investigation, which has resulted in 555 first notices of violations and 6 fines. This is compared to 90 calls for investigation last year over the same time period, which resulted in 10 notices of violation and 0 fines.

“Saving water in the wetter, winter months is relatively easy,” said Mayor Pro Tem Angelique Ashby. “It’s important that we continue to work harder to cut back our water use as we head into the dry, hot summer months. The City will continue to work with its residents, businesses and communities throughout the region and the state to find innovative ways to conserve and ensure that Sacramento has a reliable water supply in the years to come.”

To continue to help City water customers save water, the Department of Utilities continues to do the following:

  • Providing restaurants with table tents that explain water is served upon request;
  • Utility bill inserts highlighting conservation tips and tools;
  • Billboard and bus advertising encouraging water conservation;
  • Online advertising with water conservation tips on websites such as Facebook, Google, and Sacbee.com;
  • Launching the River-Friendly Landscaping Program (cash for grass) in spring 2014 to teach customers how to create beautiful landscapes that us water efficiently; and
  • Re-establishing the Water Conservation Ambassador program and training volunteers to assist with the water conservation efforts throughout the city. The next training session will be held on May 3, 2014 at 10 a.m. at the City’s Water Conservation Office, 2260 Glen Ellen Cir.

For more information on the City’s water conservation efforts, please visit www.SpareSacWater.org or follow on Facebook at www.facebook.com/SacramentoCityUtilities.

Media Note: City Staff will be available to answer questions regarding the City’s water savings at 3:30 p.m. in the media room at Sacramento City Hall, 915 I Street.


Contact

Jessica Hess, Media & Communications Specialist, 916-808-8260