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Climate and Environment

Yup, It’s A Drought. Here’s Some Ways To Save Water

a close up of a silver faucet with rushing water coming out of it
Leaky faucets can be a significant water waster
(Photo by Jari Hindstroem via Shutterstock)
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This week, Gov. Gavin Newsom declared a drought emergency throughout California, extending an existing declaration to eight counties where conditions had thus far not been deemed severe enough: Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino, San Diego, Imperial, San Francisco and Ventura.

If you haven’t been paying attention to how you’re using our valuable H20, it’s a good time to start. The more we conserve now, the more water we’ll have later. (Plus, being a water hog is just not a good look.)

Here’s Some Ways You Can Cut Back

While there are no mandatory conservation measures in place yet under Newsom's declaration, every drop saved helps. Here are some conservation tips from the California Department of Water Resources:

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  • Fix leaks, including leaky toilets
  • Install high-efficiency toilets, aerators on bathroom faucets, and water-efficient shower heads
  • Take shorter (5 minute) showers
  • Track your water bill and meter to curtail water use
  • Turn off water when brushing teeth or shaving
  • Use dishwashers and washing machines with full loads only


  • Plant drought-tolerant/resistant plants and trees
  • Recycle indoor water to use on plants
  • Refrain from watering your home landscape when it rains
  • Replace your grass/turf with water-wise plants
  • Use a broom to clean driveways, patios, and sidewalks instead of water from a hose
  • Water your outdoor landscape earlier in the day when temperatures are cooler
Climate Emergency Questions
Fires. Mudslides. Heat waves. What questions do you need answered as you prepare for the effects of the climate emergency?

Corrected October 20, 2021 at 3:52 PM PDT
A previous version of this story incorrectly said Gov. Newsom's declaration included mandatory conservation measures.