Water Conservation and Efficiency

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California Drought 2022
Customer Programs & Events
Water Waste
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California Drought 2022

Severe drought conditions remain in effect as the start to 2022 has been one of the driest on record and water reservoir levels across the state remain well below average.

  • The United States Bureau of Reclamation declared a Level 1 shortage for the first time ever for Lake Mead reservoir on the Colorado River, resulting in water cuts for Arizona, Nevada, and Mexico.
  • On March 18, as a result of the driest January and February in more than 100 years, the Department of Water Resources announced it is decreasing the State Water Project allocation from 15 percent to 5 percent of requested supplies for 2022.
  • With the forecast by the National Weather Service’s Climate Prediction Center of dry, warm weather through July, drought conditions may continue to worsen.

On October 19, Governor Newsom extended the drought-related State of Emergency to Southern California, including San Diego County. The governor asked Californians to re-double efforts to curb water consumption by 15 percent to preserve water supplies. OMWD is currently in Level 1 of its Water Shortage Contingency Plan, meaning that customers are asked to implement a variety of measures to reduce water waste. In January, the State Water Resources Control Board officially prohibited certain wasteful water practices by introducing its Water Conservation Emergency Regulation.

On March 28, 2022, Governor Newsom signed another drought Executive Order that directed the SWRCB to consider requiring urban water suppliers to activate, at a minimum, Level 2 of their water shortage contingency plans. OMWD is currently in Level 1 of its Water Shortage Contingency Plan, meaning that customers are asked to implement a variety of measures to reduce water waste. The Executive Order also directed the SWRCB to evaluate the adoption of regulations banning the irrigation of decorative grass at businesses and institutions.

OMWD is working with the SWRCB to help shape drought regulations that sensibly address our local and regional needs. The SWRCB will post to its website the text of the proposed regulation and instructions for public comment. Additionally, ratepayers can voice their opinion on drought regulations by contacting their state representatives via http://findyourrep.legislature.ca.gov.

Under a drought-related State of Emergency, the following wasteful water practices are officially prohibited:

  • Outdoor landscape irrigation resulting in visible runoff to adjacent properties
  • Outdoor landscape irrigation within 48 hours of measurable rainfall
  • Washing cars using a hose without a shut-off nozzle
  • Using potable water to clean hardscapes except in cases where health and safety are at risk
  • Using potable water in non-recirculating ornamental fountains, ponds, or lakes
  • Using potable water for street cleaning or construction purposes except in cases where health and safety are at risk
  • Using potable water for irrigation of ornamental turf on public street medians

Additionally, OMWD continues to diversify our water supply sources to reduce our reliance on imported water. For example, OMWD is working on several recycled water expansion projects, we continue to explore the feasibility of a brackish groundwater desalination facility in our service area, and we also benefit from water produced at the Carlsbad Desalination Plant. OMWD customers have become more efficient in how they use water, and because of their investments over the last few decades in alternative water supplies, OMWD does not anticipate a water supply shortage at this time.

The resources on this page can help customers use water more efficiently during these challenging times.


Customer Programs & EventsWUE

FREE Water Use Evaluations
Take advantage of our water use evaluation service to help you save both water and money. OMWD offers this service free of charge to promote water use efficiency.

Save money on improvements at your home or business by applying for rebates on water-saving devices and landscape transformations.

Workshops and Tours
Learn more about efficient water use and the value of water at one of our free workshops or tours.

WaterSmart Landscape Contest
Inspire others to conserve by showing off your water-efficient yard in our annual interagency WaterSmart Landscape Contest.

The San Diego Sustainable Landscapes Program
The program is a resource to assist San Diego County residents in adopting sustainable landscaping best practices through education and training, technical assistance, and landscaping materials.

School Programs
OMWD believes in educating the next generation about the value of water through engaging student contests and educational opportunities.


Water Wasterunoff

Report Water Waste
Let us know if you see water being wasted in the community by submitting a water waste report form or calling 760-632-4641. Please note that leak emergencies should be reported to our main line by calling 760-753-6466.

High Consumption & Leaks
Have you received an unusually high bill, or do you suspect you may have a leak? Learn how to check for leaks, troubleshoot high water use, and other helpful tips.

Stormwater Pollution
Help protect our waterways by reporting stormwater pollution to the appropriate jurisdiction.

Learn More

Landscaping Tips
Up to 80 percent of residential water use in our area goes to landscape irrigation. One of the biggest ways to make an impact on your water use is to improve irrigation efficiency. OMWD has some great tips to get you started.

Graywater Reuse
Learn how the average household can save up to 12,000 gallons of water a year by using the same water that washed your clothes to water your landscape. 

Conservation Resources
We have created a list of conservation topics meant to inform and inspire those looking to reduce their water use.

Water Conservation Practices
Under a drought-related State of Emergency, several wasteful water practices are prohibited. However, efficient water use and water-saving practices are always strongly encouraged. 

What are agencies similar to OMWD doing to impact statewide water use habits?ACWA's Small Changes, Big Impact video
Association of California Water Agencies’ “Small Changes, Big Impact” video, part of ACWA’s video series “California H20: Flowing for the Future,” highlights how other water agencies have utilized education campaigns and conservation programs that are similar to OMWD’s programs.