Water Conservation and Efficiency

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California Drought 2023
Water-Saving Programs
Education & Outreach Programs
Water Waste
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California Drought 2023

Statewide drought conditions have eased considerably as a result of one of the wettest winters on record. However, while California’s surface water conditions have greatly improved, several water supply challenges still exist and the entire state remains under a drought-related state of emergency that was declared by the State Water Resources Control Board in December 2022 and remains in effect until January 2024. Residents are strongly encouraged to continue to use water wisely to help adapt to a hotter, drier future.

  • 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 August 11, 2022, Governor Newsom announced a new water supply strategy focused on accelerating infrastructure projects that would better prepare California for perpetual years of drought. The new plan, California’s Water Supply Strategy: Adapting to a Hotter, Drier Future, highlights the significant challenges we face as a result of climate change and the importance of investing in California’s water systems to ensure the long-term sustainability of our supplies. The Governor’s new plan focuses resources on the development of new water supplies, expanding water storage capacity, increasing water use efficiency, and improving methods to manage water through technology.

On March 24, 2023, as a result of improved conditions in many parts of the state, Governor Newsom signed an Executive Order easing drought restrictions that were no longer necessary while maintaining others to support further drought response and recovery efforts. 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. Visit our Water Conservation Practices page for a full list of current water use regulations and information regarding prohibitions for homeowner associations during a drought state of emergency.

In an effort to become drought-resilient, 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.


Water-Saving Programs


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.

My Water Use
The My Water Use digital dashboard is designed to give you easy access to timely information about your water usage.

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


Education & Outreach Programs

California-Friendly Demonstration Garden
Located at OMWD headquarters, our garden provides tangible examples of water‐efficient landscaping techniques that can save water and money.

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 Waste

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.