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Your Water Conservation Efforts are Needed–Stage 2 Drought

Stage Two Drought Coming July 1, 2009

Most cities in San Diego County have adopted a four-stage drought response plan and have already declared a Stage One alert.  In the absence of significant rainfall or snowfall, a Stage Two alert was declared in January 2009 and will go into effect on July 1, 2009.

Stage One – 10 percent water conservation requirements (voluntary conservation – also known as the “20 Gallon Challenge”)
Stage Two – 20 percent water conservation requirements (mandatory conservation)
Stage Three – 40 percent conservation requirements (mandatory conservation)
Stage Four – 40+ percent conservation requirements (mandatory conservation)

Water conservation is now a way of life!

California is experiencing one of the worst droughts in history, as evidenced by the declaration of a statewide drought by Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger on June 4, 2008.

More than 90 percent of San Diego County’s water supply is imported from other regions.  Record low snow and rainfalls, limited water supplies, and water transportation deficiencies all combine to put San Diego in the midst of a severe water shortage.

How You Can Help

In some ways apartment dwellers can do more to conserve water than homeowners.  Think of it this way: if everyone in your building does a little something to save water, that small water savings is multiplied by the number of units.  So, if everyone saves just two gallons of water a day, your building may be saving 10, 50, or 100 gallons a day, depending on the number of units.

Some apartment dwellers pay their own water bills, and some do not.  But whether or not you have an individual water bill, it benefits you to conserve water.  Conservation helps keep water costs down, and water costs impact the price of necessitates such as food…and rent.  Because water rates are already going up, it’s unlikely that your rent will decrease by conserving, but it may not go up as fast if you do conserve.

Tips for A Water-Friendly Apartment, Inside & Out…

•    If your toilet runs constantly, report it to your property manager immediately.
•    Drop your tissue in the trash instead of flushing it down the drain. This saves between 1.5-3.5 gallons each flush.

•    Teach your children to turn off faucets tightly after each use.
•    Turn off the water while brushing your teeth and save 25 gallons a month.
•    Turn off the water while you shave.    Shower & Baths
•    Shorten your shower by a minute or two and you’ll save up to 150 gallons per month.
•    Turn of the water while you wash your hair to save up to 150 gallons a month.

•    When washing dishes by hand, don’t let the water run while rinsing. Fill one sink with wash water and the other with rinse water.
•    Soak pots and pans instead of letting the water run while you scrape them.
•    Use the garbage disposal sparingly.
•    For cold drinks, keep a pitcher of water in the refrigerator instead of running the tap. This way, every drop goes down you and not the drain.
•    Don’t use running water to thaw food. Use a microwave or defrost food in the refrigerator for water efficiency and food safety.

•    Run your dishwasher only when it’s full. You can save up to 500 gallons a month.
•    Designate one glass for your drinking water each day or refill a water bottle. This will cut down on the number of glasses to wash.

Washing Machines
•    When doing laundry match the water level to the size of the load.
•    Washing clothes in cold water saves both on water and energy. There are detergents especially for cold water.
•    Share water conservation tips with friends and neighbors.
•    Report broken pipes, open hydrants and errant sprinklers to the property manager immediately.

Miscellaneous Conservation Tips

•    Listen for dripping faucets and running toilets. Fixing a leak can save 300 gallons a month or more.
•    Check with your property manager to ensure they have installed low-flow faucet aerators and inexpensive low-flow shower heads.  Low-flow aerators use 1.5 gallons of water per minute (older faucets use between three and seven gallons per minute).

Information in this brochure was compiled from various sources, including,, Cal Water, City of Atlanta, and others.  The intent of this brochure is to increase water conservation in multifamily communities by the San Diego County Apartment Association (SDCAA).

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