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Variable Snowpack Provides Constant Threat and Ongoing Reminder to Use Water Efficiently

Turn off your automatic sprinklers for the winter. Plants typically don’t need as much water this time of year.

The Regional Water Authority (RWA) has released the following statement in response to snow survey results announced today by the California Department of Water Resources.

"Just a month ago, California’s snowpack was well above average. Now, after just one relatively dry January, today’s snow survey shows below normal conditions.

"California’s variable precipitation is a constant threat to our water supplies and an ongoing reminder for all of us to use only the water that we need.

"Having enough water is critical to California and our local economy, and water efficiency plays an important role. The Regional Water Authority and local water providers ask residents to use water efficiently by following these winter watering tips:

  • Turn off your automatic sprinklers for the winter. Plants typically don’t need as much water this time of year. Lower temperatures, shorter daylight hours and moisture from fog and rain all combine to reduce the water demands of a typical landscape. If you have the type of lawn that is dormant during the winter, most likely it does not need supplemental water.
  • Check soil moisture before turning your sprinklers back on. Use a garden trowel or shovel to dig down about three to six inches. If the soil looks and feels dry several inches or more below the surface, water the landscape one day per week or according to your water provider’s guidelines.
  • Tune up your sprinklers before turning your system on for the watering season. Just like a water heater, furnace or other appliance in your home, sprinkler systems need an annual tune up to keep them working properly. Find a fact sheet that shows how to tune up sprinklers at BeWaterSmart.info.

"Over the past several years the Sacramento region has made great progress when it comes to using water more efficiently. For example, the region significantly reduced its water use since 2001, according to a recent report published by the Sacramento Area Water Forum. In addition, nearly 2,000 people have pledged to save over 60 million gallons of water per year by taking the Blue Thumb pledge at BeWaterSmart.info as part of RWA’s water efficiency outreach program.

"Moreover, local water providers have been working hard for more than a decade to ensure reliable supplies. Water providers joined business leaders, environmental groups and others to sign the Water Forum agreement in 2000, which is aimed at providing a reliable and safe water supply for the region’s future while preserving the environmental, recreational and aesthetic values of the Lower American River. Integrated regional water management has enhanced the ability of many water providers to preserve surface water resources by using groundwater supplies during dry times.

"Water is a precious resource that shouldn’t be wasted. It’s important for everyone to use water efficiently–for the health of the Sacramento region’s economy, environment and way of life."

For more information about free water-efficiency services and rebates, as well as tips for using less water now, residents can contact their local water provider or visit BeWaterSmart.info.

About the Regional Water Authority: RWA is a joint powers authority representing 25 water providers and affiliates in the greater Sacramento area. Its primary mission is to help its members protect and enhance the reliability, availability, affordability and quality of water resources.
 

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