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Posted on: October 4, 2022

Running Dry: From Concern to Crisis


Unprecedented Drought
While we hope we are entering the rainy season, we fear we may be entering year four of one of the worst droughts we’ve ever faced.  The Colorado River, which is one of our two major sources of drinking water, is at its lowest level in more than 1,200 years.   Earlier this year, state water officials cut Southern California’s imported water allocation from 15% to just 5% as many state reservoirs fell to 50% below their average.  

Right now, state water officials are asking for 15% voluntary reductions, but we are anticipating if the drought continues, we may face mandatory reductions by as much as 30%.  While Santa Margarita Water District recognizes that most customers have already taken steps to reduce their water use, we’re asking our customers to do more. 

Join Your Neighbors:  Tighten the Tap


  • LIMIT OUTDOOR WATERING TO ONE DAY A WEEK – since over half of a home’s annual water use occurs outdoors, steps you take to reduce outdoor watering go a long way to stretch our available water supply.

  • DRIP IRRIGATION – Traditional sprinklers tend to lose much of their water to runoff or evaporation.  Drip irrigation is like “time-release” water and targets the root of the plant where the water is needed.  If you switch your system to drip irrigation you may even qualify for a rebate of $0.50 per square foot. Click here to learn more.

  • GOODBYE GRASS – If the only time your lawn gets walked on is when someone is mowing it, you may consider replacing the grass with California Friendly plants.  You’ll also get a discount of $3.00 per square foot of turf you remove.  However, make sure you apply for the rebate before you begin the turf removal.  Click here to learn more.

  • REPORT WATER WASTE IN YOUR COMMUNITY– If you see water runoff due to overwatering or an irrigation leak in your Homeowners Association landscape area or other location, let your property owner or the landscape manager know.



Make no mistake, you and your neighbors are already doing a great job of using water efficiently, but there is always room for improvement.   And with the potential of a fourth year of drought looming in our future, we all need to do our part to reduce our water use even further.

 You can learn more at



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