Drought Information


Due to the dry winter and hot summer weather, BAWSCA and SFPUC have asked the public to reduce water use by 10%. While mandatory cutbacks once feared necessary will likely not be required this year, SFPUC officials cautioned that failing to continue conserving may make rationing necessary next year if dry conditions continue.

Please see the tips below to find out how you can save water.

A Message from BAWSCA’s CEO


3 Tips to Save Water (and Money) from Nicole Sandkulla of BAWSCA ~ Brent Carey #California #drought #savewater

Posted by 96.5 KOIT San Francisco on Wednesday, April 8, 2015


What you can do:

Spring 2015 Water Efficient Landscape Education

Free classes and workshops are offered in the Spring and Fall of each year throughout the BAWSCA service area.

Click here for a list of classes near you and to register.



        • Adjust your irrigation systems
          • Turn watering time down
          • Turn system off completely on cool or wet days
          • Water during early morning or late evening times or at night


        • Plant shrubs and flowers that take little or no water
          • Request a copy of BAWSCA’s new water-wise landscaping CD-ROM
          • Reduce the size your lawn when installing new landscaping
          • Consider planting California native drought tolerant plants


        • Water only what your plants need: Water your lawn once a week and only at night.


        • Use a broom to clean sidewalks, driveways and pavement instead of a hose.


        • Wash your car sparingly and when you do wash it, take it to an automated car wash. These facilities often use less water than washing at home and the runoff is filtered, treated and reused. If you must wash at home, use a spray nozzle that shuts off when not in use.


      • Fix Water Leaks Outside – Many silent leaks send water and money down the drain. Check for leaky irrigation systems. If you have an older irrigation system, over 50% of the outside water used can be lost to leaks. To check for hidden or unseen leaks, turn off all water taps inside and outside your home. If your water meter dial is moving, you may have a hidden leak.


        • Fix Water Leaks Inside Your Home:
          • Many silent leaks send water and money down the drain. Studies have shown that leaking water in homes can waste more than 10% of the water used indoors. Check for leaky faucets and toilets. For example, a faucet leaking a slow steady drip – 100 drops per minute – wastes 350 gallons per month. A faucet leaking a small stream wastes 2,000 to 2,700 gallons of water per month. Replacing worn washers in your faucets will usually stop leaks.


        • In the Bathroom:
          • Replace older, inefficient toilets, shower heads, and faucets with newer models that use less water
            • Toilets are the largest water users in your home
            • Replace your old toilet with a High Efficiency Toilet – New efficient toilet technology is proven and sound. These new toilets flush better and save 20% more water than a standard new toilet.
            • Install a modern efficient showerhead and/or take shorter showers. Each minute you cut saves 2.5 gallons
            • Install a faucet aerator on your sink and turn off the tap when brushing teeth and shaving.


      • In the Laundry Room:
          • Replace older, inefficient clothes washers with new efficient model.
            • The clothes washer is the second largest water user in your home
            • A typical clothes washer has a water factor rating of 12 to 13, meaning that each cubic foot of laundry requires 12 to 13 gallons of water to wash. Water efficient clothes washers have water factor ratings of 9.5 or less.


          • Get a rebate for the purchase of your new efficient clothes washer!
            • Call BAWSCA or your local water agency for information on available rebates for installation of water saving fixtures and appliances. A rebate of $50 to $250 may be available from your water agency in addition to a rebate from PG&E.


        • Run full loads only
          • Operate your clothes and dishwashers with full loads only, even if the machine has an adjustable load setting. Also choose a water saving setting on your washer if that is an option.
      • In the Kitchen:
        • Replace older, inefficient dish washers with new efficient model.
        • Choose a water saving setting on your dishwasher.
        • Install faucet aerators in your kitchen. Best estimates show that a typical four-person household can save more than 1,700 gallons of water per year by installing low-flow faucet aerators in both the kitchen and bathroom. Of these savings, 1,300 gallons would be from reductions in hot water use which would help save electricity and money.

Where To Get More Information


Take the tour to investigate water saving opportunities in each area of your home!

Virtual Home Tourhttp://www.h2ouse.org


Water Wise Gardening in the Bay Area

BAWSCA’s Water Wise gardening tool is tailored especially for the area served by BAWSCA agencies. The program displays outstanding water efficient garden photographs hot-linked to the plants that compose them. The program offers a searchable plant database, watering recommendations, a searchable gardening guide, and allows the user to prepare reports and shopping lists for their use. This user friendly program brings tools to the homeowner that will enable them to incorporate beautiful water efficient plants and gardening techniques into their gardens.

Some Questions and Answers:

Question: Are people using more water than they did during the last drought?
Answer: No. Residential customers outside of San Francisco are using 13% less per person that before the last drought that began in 1987.

Question: Is more water being used in the service area than before the last drought?
Answer: No. Total water use outside of San Francisco is the same as it was at the start of the last drought despite a 19% population increase in the area since that time.

Question: How much water is used for people versus business in this service area?
Answer: In the areas outside San Francisco, 60% of the water is used by residential customers and 40% by non-residential customers including business and industry, schools, hospitals and other community organizations.

Question: How much water is used inside the home versus outside for landscaping?
Answer: In the areas outside San Francisco, 65% of the water used by residential customers is used in the home and 35% is used for outside for landscaping purposes.

Question: Is the price of water going to go up?
Answer: Whether the price of water to the customer will increase depends upon your local water supplier.

Question: If mandatory rationing is necessary, how will it be enforced?
Answer: You local water supplier will determine how to implement mandatory rationing for its customers.

Left photo courtesy of the Hayward Shoreline Interpretive Center