Accessibility and Website Information Skip Site Wide Navigation Skip to Content City Seal | HomeCity of San Diego | Home
Search City of San Diego

Water Conservation Tips For Every Household

With a mandatory 16% water use reduction target set in place for San Diego by the state of California, the City has asked residents to limit their watering of ornamental landscape to no more than 2 days week, 5 minutes per day. You can see a list of all water use restrictions in place here: Mandatory Water Use Restrictions. Become familiar with these restrictions and be sure to comply with even the simplest rules, such as repairing leaks and not hosing down driveways, patios and other cemented areas.

As San Diego bands together to achieve its 16% conservation goal, many residents are asking how they can do more, above and beyond the mandatory restrictions. This page contains simple tips ways to help you save water -- all ways, always. Paying attention to these tips can result in significant savings every day.

Outdoors

  • Set lawn mower blades one notch higher since longer grass reduces evaporation. Leave grass clippings on your grass, this cools the ground and holds in moisture.
  • Mulch, compost and wood chips are available at the Miramar Greenery.
  • Don't allow children to play with the hose or have water fights. Instead, visit one of the City's public pools or one of our many beaches.
  • If you have a pool, use a cover to cut down evaporation. This will also keep your pool cleaner and reduce the need to add chemicals.
  • Plant drought-tolerant landscaping.

Laundry

  • When doing the laundry, never wash less than a full load.
  • Remove clothes from washer promptly, to avoid having to rinse or wash them a second time.
  • If possible, invest in a high-efficiency washer.

In The Bathroom

  • While waiting for hot water to come through the pipes, catch the cool, clean, water in a bucket or a watering can. You can use it later to water plants, run your garbage disposer, or pour into the toilet bowl to flush.
  • Replace your regular showerheads with low-flow showerheads.
  • Keep your showers down to five minutes or less using a low-flow showerhead.
  • Turn the water off while lathering-up in the shower. Then turn the water back on to quickly rinse.
  • Take shallow baths, no more than 3 inches of water.
  • Replace your older model toilets with new ultra-low-flush models.
  • Check your toilets for leaks. Drop a dye tablet or a teaspoon of food coloring (avoid red) in the tank. If color appears in the bowl after 15 minutes, you probably need to replace the "flapper" valve.
  • Flush the toilet only when necessary. Never use the toilet as an ashtray or wastebasket.
  • Never let the water run while brushing your teeth or shaving.

In the Kitchen

  • Hand wash dishes just once a day using the least amount of detergent possible and a dishpan instead of running water. Use a sprayer or short blasts of water to rinse.
  • If you have a dishwasher, run it only when you have a full load.
  • Scrape food scraps off dishes into the garbage can, or rinse them off with very short blasts of water.
  • Never use hot, running water to defrost frozen foods. Plan ahead and place frozen items in the refrigerator overnight or use the microwave oven.
  • Rinse vegetables and fruits in a sink or a pan filled with water instead of under running water.