Water Sense

                     Water Fact Shei
              From its hot, dry deserts to its snowcapped peaks and
              foggy shores, California is a mosaic of diverse cul-
              ture, climate, and geography. The state's varying
        water needs and resources are both a reflection and  a
        consequence of this diversity. Balancing water supply and
        demand is a perennial problem in the state. Californians are
        no strangers to droughts and water restrictions. Although California faces some
        of the most challenging water  issues in the country, the state is also a national
        leader in water efficiency and water conservation.
        Precipitation, both rain and snow, is at the heart
        of California's water supply. Annual precipitation
        can vary from less than one inch in Death Valley
        to as much as 100 inches along the North Coast.
        In northern and eastern parts of the state,
        California receives an abundance of water from
        rainfall and snowmelt, but most of the state's
        water is needed and used in population centers
        to the south or used to irrigate farmland in the
        Central Valley.
        To move water across the state, California relies
        heavily on water conveyance and storage sys-
        tems such as the California State Water Project,
        which provides drinking water to nearly two-
        thirds of the state's population.
        California's water supply is becoming increasingly
        overtaxed. Each year, the state consumes 2 million
        more acre-feet of ground water than it recharges
        naturally. California is also at higher risk for
        drought than many other areas of the country
        and has experienced major drought events from
                             2007-2009,1987-1992, and 1976-1977. During
                             drought years, total precipitation can be less than
                             half the annual average. Rainfall and snowfall can
                             vary significantly not only from year to year but
                             season to season as well.
                             On average, 75 percent of California's annual pre-
                             cipitation occurs between November and March,
                             and peak agricultural and urban water use gener-
                             ally does not align with peak precipitation.

                             Population Pressure
                             Already the most populous state in the country,
                             California's population is projected to increase to
                             nearly 60 million by 2050. This will lead to
                             increased demand for both drinking water and
                             landscape irrigation water and continue to strain
                             the drought-prone states freshwater resources.
                             By the year 2020, this population growth will
                             result in unmet water demand of 2.4 million
                             acre-feet of water in average rainfall years, and
                             up to 6.2 million acre-feet in drought years.
June 2010
(866) WTR-SENS (987-7367) • www.epa.gov/watersense • watersense@epa.gov
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California has long promoted water conserva-
tion as a means to preserve this precious
resource as droughts and growing population
continue to strain supplies. The state
Department of Water Resources and the
Association of California Water Agencies spon-
sor Save Our Water, a campaign that educates
consumers on the need for water efficiency,
offers tips to use less water at home, and fea-
tures stories about how California residents are
doing their part, from replacing grass with
native plants to turning off the tap while brush-
ing their teeth.

Continuing to Conserve
With its innovative conservation measures and
extensive resource planning, California has
often been ahead of the curve in addressing
water supply issues. In 2007, California became
the first state in the nation to require more effi-
cient toilets than the current national  standard,
or 1.6 gallons per flush. By 2014, every toilet
sold in California will be required to use 1.28
gallons per flush or less.
In 2010, California released its 20X2020 Water
Conservation Plan, which was initiated by
Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger and designed
to reduce per capita water consumption 20 per-
cent. It set in motion a number of activities to
encourage water efficiency and required urban
water suppliers to set reduction targets for 2015
and 2020.
California is also home to more than 300
WaterSense® partners, committed to increasing
the use of water-efficient products and spread-
ing the word about the need for smart water
If every home in California installed a
WaterSense labeled bathroom faucet, it would
help save 7 billion gallons of water
annually—saving households $20 million in
water and sewer bills and nearly $70 million in
energy costs to heat water. Additionally, water
and wastewater utilities would save at least 20
million kilowatt-hours of electricity that would
normally be used for supplying and treating
that water.
Replacing all of the old, inefficient showerheads
in California homes with WaterSense labeled
models could help save about 87 million gallons
of water every day. That's  more than enough
water to meet the daily needs of San Francisco
County's public supply system! Additionally, it
could save more than $100 million in water bills
and nearly $300 million in energy costs for heat-
ing the water.
For more information and water-saving tips,
visit www.epa.gov/watersense or
  Savings  at  the Local Level
  Through water-efficiency programs in the city of
  Santa Rosa, residents and businesses are saving
  1.4 billion gallons of water per year. Santa Rosa
  encourages residents to adopt "water wise" habits,
  check for leaks regularly, and install efficient
  plumbing fixtures.
  The city of Roseville has worked to encourage
  water efficiency by providing free "Water-Wise
  House Calls" to  its residents. During a house call, a
  trained water use specialist reviews home water
  use, offers water-wise recommendations, and
  even installs water-efficient showerheads and
  faucet aerators.