Water use in the Santa Clarita Valley has declined since May of 2021, but there is more work to be done to meet the governor’s 15% voluntary water conservation target in comparison to 2020.
Through proactive long-term planning, SCV Water has invested in reliable and drought-resilient water supplies as well as implemented a robust water conservation program for customers. However, while we have saved water compared to earlier this year, we are still above water use measured in July of last year.
Los Angeles County, including the Santa Clarita Valley, is experiencing an “exceptional drought,” and it’s set to be one of the driest years on record.
The governor declared a drought emergency in July for most counties across the state along with calling on all Californians to voluntarily save 15% of their water use.
According to the report released by the State Water Resources Control Board in September, Californians overall reduced water use by 1.8% statewide compared to July 2020. For SCV Water, customer water use increased by 5.6% more for the month of July 2021 versus July 2020.
Figures for the month of September show that SCV Water use continues to decline but is still 1.1% above water consumption from September 2020.
“Thanks to our customers diligent, ongoing water-saving efforts, we’re heading in the right direction, but we have more to do,” said SCV Water’s General Manager Matt Stone. “Together, we can all do our part, so we have enough to meet our needs in the coming years.”
Although SCV Water’s reduction in water use fell short of meeting the 15% target for July, the first reportable period since the governor’s executive order was signed, SCV Water’s team is confident that customer water savings is trending in the right direction.
The Agency anticipates an increase in water savings as they head into fall and winter thanks to the cooler temperatures and additional time to provide customers with education and outreach on the drought.
Ways You Can Save
SCV Water customers can often reach 15% water savings with just a few simple adjustments in irrigation practices. By far, the highest part of overall water use is outdoors. As weather cools, landscape watering can be cut back to two days a week. Fixing leaks and adjusting timers can have a big impact. For those with little or no landscaping, upgrading outdated indoor fixtures can also be easy areas to save. SCV Water offers our customers a wide variety of resources and incentives to save water at home and in businesses:
– Residents, businesses, HOAs and others can save water and money through turf replacement, smart irrigation controllers, high-efficiency irrigation upgrades, and more.
– Sign up for a Free Home Drought Ready Check-Up and receive support in finding and implementing ways to prepare your home for continued drought.
– Learn more about the drought and ways to save water at home and earn $20 by completing the online WaterSMART Workshop.
– Dive into SCV Water’s water-wise learning programs and resources. Take a virtual garden class and sign up for the Water Currents e-newsletter to get drought updates.
– Check out step-by-step tips and easy-to-follow videos to reduce unintended water waste by detecting home leaks, fixing a toilet and giving your irrigation system a tune-up.
– Report water waste in the SCV, so every drop counts.
SCV Water is Drought Ready
SCV Water is working to meet its community’s water needs today and long into the future. Multiple water sources provide options in dry years, such as water that is banked in underground aquifers in Kern County. In fact, this year and last year, SCV Water has pulled some of that water out of storage rather than require mandatory cutbacks.
SCV Water is also leading by example. Through a recent water efficiency check of all facilities, the agency upgraded to the latest, most efficient faucet aerators, as well as checked for indoor and outdoor leaks. Several previously undetected irrigation leaks or inefficient spray patterns were detected.
“We’re committed to leading by example when it comes to saving water,” said Matt Dickens, sustainability manager at SCV Water. “In one day, we conducted water checkups at seven of our facilities and implemented water use efficiency improvements that will save more than 20% of our use compared to 2020.”
Communicating About the Drought
In addition to long-term planning efforts and customer programs, SCV Water is providing ongoing drought updates to customers through a variety of communications channels. The Agency also partnered with the City of Santa Clarita and L.A. County Waterworks District #36 to form a Sustainable Water Action Team (SWAT), to coordinate drought efforts and outreach.
“To weather these dry conditions into 2020 and beyond, we need everyone in our community to help use water wisely. We’ve saved before and we can do it again,” noted Stone. “We’re committed
to ongoing communication and outreach on the drought, so we all have the information we need to save water.”
For more information and resources, visit www.DroughtReadySCV.com.