58% of California is Experiencing Severe Drought

August 1, 2014 | By | Comments (4)

via U.S. Drought Monitor

Yesterday the U.S. Drought Monitor reported that more than 58% of the state is now experiencing “exceptional” drought, the most severe category available. And 81% of the state has one of the two most intense levels of drought.

While new statewide rules went into effect 3 days ago, allowing fines of up to $500 per day for wasteful water behavior (including using a hose to clean a sidewalk or running a fountain that doesn’t recirculate water), curbing water use is still mostly a voluntary action.

Here is just a tiny sampling of the tips from Save Our Water on how to lower your water use:


  • Turn off the water while washing your hair and save up to 150 gallons a month.
  • Install a water-efficient clothes washer Save: 16 Gallons/Load
  • When washing dishes by hand, don’t let the water run. Fill one basin with wash water and the other with rinse water.
  • Don’t use running water to thaw food.   Defrost food in the refrigerator.
  • Keep a pitcher of drinking water in the refrigerator instead of running the tap.
  • Put a layer of mulch around trees and plants to reduce evaporation and keep the soil cool. Organic mulch also improves the soil and prevents weeds. Save: 20-30 gallons/each time you water/1,000 sq. ft.
  • Collect the water you use while rinsing fruit and vegetables. Use it to water house plants.

Ten more tips to save water at home.

Even more tips to Kick the Water Habit.

Got any tips of your own? Let us know.




  1. 5 Quick and Dirty Ways to Save Water as a Renter | A blog by Sunset

    […] this big, bad drought continues to parch the West, landlords might raise rents to cover rising water costs, or ask […]

    April 29, 2015 at 7:54 am
  2. Sunset‘s Best Drought-Fighting Tactics From 1989 | A blog by Sunset

    […] We can look to those factors when trying to explain the current California drought—one of the worst here in recorded history. But we published this book to help Western gardens survive the inevitable, and we know you could use its help, given that 58% of our state is experiencing a severe drought. […]

    August 28, 2014 at 11:13 am
  3. Cathy

    We shower (briefly) with a bucket and use that water to flush the toilet! Also shaved the dog so he didn’t require so much water to rinse after the beach.

    August 1, 2014 at 2:10 pm
  4. Julia Curry

    Turn off your automatic ice maker (usually by lifting up the arm or flipping a switch) and use up the ice you have. Make it manually in ice trays as needed.

    August 1, 2014 at 11:35 am

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