For Immediate Release
March 10, 2022
Contact: Mary Lynne Vellinga, Office of Mayor Darrell Steinberg, 916-599-3724
Sacramento mayor, State, local leaders urge residents to conserve water
Sacramento (March 10, 2022) – Sacramento Mayor Darrell Steinberg joined Wade Crowfoot, California Natural Resources Agency Secretary; Josh Fryday, California Chief Service Officer; and Joaquin Esquivel, State Water Resources Control Board Chair, to make a renewed call on Californians to conserve water amid another period of drought conditions in the state.
“Now is the time to make conservation a part of your life. Save water every day, use only what you need,” said California Secretary for Natural Resources Wade Crowfoot. “We need to plan for the very real possibility of no additional rain and snow this year and focus on adapting our water systems to be resilient to the new normal of weather extremes.”
“January and February were some of the driest months on record statewide, a reality this is particularly painful because these are usually our wettest months,” Mayor Steinberg said. “In Sacramento, we have used rebates to accelerate the pace of replacing thirsty lawns and swapping out inefficient water appliances throughout our city. If we all do a little, we can conserve a lot.”
State and city leaders gathered Thursday at the City of Sacramento Department of Utilities headquarters in South Land Park, which features a garden that demonstrates drought-tolerant plants.
“It is more critical than ever Californians work together to conserve water,” said California Chief Service Officer Josh Fryday. “Everyone can be a part of the solution. What you do in and around your home, including your water uses, what you plant, and the irrigation systems you install can make all the difference in making water conservation a California lifestyle.”
The City of Sacramento has called on residents and businesses to voluntarily reduce water use by 15 percent. The City is offering rebates up to $1,500 for homeowners who replace their thirsty lawns with water-wise landscaping. This program has resulted in more than 1 million square feet of grass being replaced since 2014. Just in the past year, the City has received more than 1,000 applications from residents who want to convert grass to drought-tolerant landscapes, upgrade their irrigation systems, install smart irrigation controllers and replace toilets.
“Unfortunately, we are still very much in drought and anticipating difficult conditions this summer,” said Joaquin Esquivel, chair of the State Water Resources Control Board. “Water conservation is critical. With outdoor irrigation accounting for as much as 80 percent of our urban water use, landscaping with native plants is a great way to conserve water and beautify our homes in a way that doesn’t damage our long-term health as a state.”
Along with continuing conservation efforts, the City of Sacramento is working with state and local partners to pursue funding to complete the Sacramento Regional Water Bank. The Water Bank is an innovative groundwater storage program that will improve regional water supply reliability in the near-term and into the future. It will increase the Sacramento region’s resiliency to climate change and benefit our local water supply reliability, economy, and environment.
With Thursday’s event, state and local leaders continued to emphasize that both conservation and investments in climate resilient infrastructure go hand in hand and renewed the call to residents to ensure all uses of water in and around the home are as efficient as possible.