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Bay Area Water Agencies and State Leaders Urge More Conservation Outdoors as California Prepares and Braces for Fourth Dry Year

SFPUC General Manager Dennis Herrera and Bay Area Water Agencies

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 30, 2022

Bay Area Water Agencies and State Leaders Urge More Conservation Outdoors as California Prepares and Braces for Fourth Dry Year

Experts highlight drought-tolerant landscaping and resources to help customers reduce outdoor water use

Fremont, CA – State leaders and Bay Area water agencies gathered today at a drought-tolerant garden to highlight conservation efforts currently underway and discuss important outdoor water saving devices and practices that can collectively save thousands of gallons of water for Californians.

California Natural Resources Agency Secretary Wade Crowfoot joined water agency leaders at the Quarry Lakes Demonstration Garden to announce resources to assist and inspire Bay Area residents in their efforts to reduce outdoor water use as California prepares for a fourth dry year amid extreme drought.

“Drought across the west is bad and getting worse. In response, we’re taking actions to stretch our water supplies and deliver projects that help us adjust to a hotter, drier climate,” said Secretary Crowfoot. “Thanks to our local partners and leaders in the Bay Area, we are making progress to conserve water and improve water efficiency. It’s time to double down on these critical efforts.”
For the period of January to June 2022, Bay Area residents reduced their water use to an average of 60 gallons per person per day compared to the state average of 82. More work is needed, however, to curb daily water usage, especially outdoors where most water waste occurs. Water agency leaders serving the Bay Area expressed the need for continued partnerships and urgent action by all residents to build drought resilience both in the near- and long-term.

“Regional and state partnerships like we have help save our water as we manage through drought and adapt to a changing climate,” said ACWD General Manager Ed Stevenson. “Residents and businesses in Alameda County Water District and throughout the Bay Area have done a very good job of conserving water during this extreme drought and we're better prepared if next year is dry. Still, we cannot take our foot off the pedal; as we face a possible fourth year of drought, every drop of water becomes more precious every day.”

With California undergoing a climate transformation bringing hotter and drier conditions and more extreme weather, Bay Area water agencies along with state and local leaders are encouraging customers to make permanent water wise changes to their landscaping this fall.

“EBMUD customers are phenomenal at conserving water. Our customers have conserved 46 million gallons every day compared to historic use, and by 2050 we want to increase that to 70 million gallons saved daily,” said EBMUD General Manager Clifford Chan. “With climate change resulting in more frequent and severe droughts, we all need to conserve to ensure our water future is reliable. Our goal may seem like a lot, but if everyone makes wise water-use decisions – whether it’s fixing a leak, or cutting back on outdoor irrigation, or using new irrigation technology – we will meet that goal. Making conservation a way of life will benefit all our communities.”

“We thank our customers who continue to be water wise, and we encourage those with room to save more to reach out to us for help,” said SFPUC General Manager Dennis Herrera. “Just as our customers are doing their part, we are doing ours to make the most of our water supplies. In San Francisco we are building a new recycled water treatment plant, initiating innovative partnerships and exploring pilot programs. As the warm months continue, now is the time for everyone to do what they can to reduce outdoor water use in particular.”

Actions highlighted during today’s press conference are a direct response to Governor Newsom’s statewide call to action for residents to reduce their water use by 15 percent in response to the extreme drought throughout California.

For more information on how Californians can take immediate action to save water, visit SaveOurWater.com. To learn more about available rebates, free water saving devices and programs provided by Bay Area water agencies, visit SFPUC.org/BayAreaAgencies.


Alameda County Water District provides drinking water to 345,000 people in Fremont, Newark and Union City @AlamedaCountyWD

California Water Service Company provides drinking water to 389,000 people in the Bay Area through its Bayshore, Bear Gulch, Livermore, and Los Altos Districts @Calwater

Contra Costa Water District provides drinking water to 500,000 people in central and eastern Contra Costa County @ContraCostaWaterDistrict

Dublin San Ramon Services District provides drinking water, wastewater and recycled water services to 187,500 people in Dublin and San Ramon @DublinSanRamonServicesDistrict

East Bay Municipal Utility District provides drinking water and wastewater services to 1.4 million people in portions of Alameda and Contra Costa Counties @EBMUD

San Francisco Public Utilities Commission provides drinking water to 2.7 million people in four Bay Area Counties. @MySFPUC

Zone 7 Water Agency is a wholesale water agency, supplying water to all eastern Alameda County, a population of over a quarter million residents. @Zone7Water

Save Our Water is California’s statewide water conservation program that reaches millions of Californians each year through partnerships with local water agencies and other community-based organizations, social marketing efforts, paid and earned media and event sponsorships @SaveOurWaterCA