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Water Conservation Tips

Photo of drought tolerant landscaping

California suffers from cyclical droughts and while San Diego is not currently in a drought it may be sooner than later.  City and state year-round permanent mandatory restrictions  have been put in place to help San Diegans make conservation a way of life. Still, many residents are asking how they can do more, above and beyond the permanent mandatory restrictions. This page contains simple tips to help you save water.


  • 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.


  • 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.

Image of 5 minutes clock

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.

Photo of loaded dishwasher

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.


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