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Sacramento kept sprinklers off, saw savings soar

Area residents cut water use 22% in dry November

Lawn irrigation and other water uses were reduced
by Sacramento-area residents 22% in November.
(Photo: Kathy Morrison)

Good job, Sacramento-area water savers!

After crunching the numbers, Sacramento’s water watchers reported more huge savings by Sacramento-area residents. Apparently, October’s heavy rainfall carried over to water savings in November, which was unusually dry.

According to the Regional Water Authority, which represents 20 local water providers, Sacramento-area water use was down 22% in November compared to November 2020. That’s triple the statewide average, which saw overall California water use down 6.8% in November compared to a year earlier.

Sacramento’s savings are on top of a 13% drop in regional water use since the last drought.

Paired with a wet December, those savings put Sacramento-area residents in a good place, water-wise. But we could still do more.

“We’re asking everyone to keep up the great work by turning sprinklers off during rain and fixing household leaks,” said Amy Talbot, RWA’s water efficiency program manager. “We know through research that it’s easy for people to ignore those annoying little faucet and shower drips. But it’s important to remember that all of those little drips can quickly add up and that fixing leaks is often easier than you think.”

A leaky or running toilet is the most common household leak, Talbot said. Such leaks can waste 200 gallons a day. Following toilets are dripping faucets and shower heads.

According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, 10% of homes have leaks that can waste 90 gallons or more per day, she added. That’s enough to fill 1,440 glasses of water – each day! In one week, it’s enough water to irrigate 126 full-size tomato plants.

Water providers offer several ways to help local residents including rebates and water-wise house calls to search for potential leaks and savings. Upgrade your irrigation system with rebates, too.

Find water-wise tips, rebate information and how-to videos at .

In related news, the State Water Resources Control Board just Tuesday adopted drought rules outlawing water wasting, including overwatering lawns or hosing down sidewalks. Fines up to $500 are possible. See the Bee's story here.

Gov. Gavin Newsom had set a goal of a 15% reduction, which the Sacramento area met and surpassed. The statewide total for November, as the Bee's Dale Kasler reports, was just 6.8%; Southern California actually increased water consumption by 0.8%.


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Dig In: Garden checklist for week of Sept. 25

This week's warm break will revive summer crops such as peppers and tomatoes that may still be trying to produce fruit. Pumpkins and winter squash will add weight rapidly.

Be on the lookout for powdery mildew and other fungal diseases that may be enjoying this combination of warm air and moist soil.

* Late September is ideal for sowing a new lawn or re-seeding bare spots.

* Compost annuals and vegetable crops that have finished producing.

* Cultivate and add compost to the soil to replenish its nutrients for fall and winter vegetables and flowers.

* Plant for fall now. The warm soil will get cool-season veggies and flowers off to a fast start.

* Plant onions, lettuce, peas, radishes, turnips, beets, carrots, bok choy, spinach and potatoes directly into the vegetable beds.

* Transplant lettuce, cabbage, broccoli, kale, Brussels sprouts and cauliflower.

* Sow seeds of California poppies, clarkia and African daisies.

* Transplant cool-weather annuals such as pansies, violas, fairy primroses, calendulas, stocks and snapdragons.

* Divide and replant bulbs, rhizomes and perennials.

* Dig up and divide daylilies as they complete their bloom cycle.

* Divide and transplant peonies that have become overcrowded. Replant with "eyes" about an inch below the soil surface.

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