It’s official: We’re headed into another dry year.
The recent Sierra snow survey confirmed what local water officials feared: Snow levels are way below normal – just 20 percent of average for early January.
That report follows the driest year in recorded history.
In 2013, Sacramento received 6.13 inches of rain, less than one-third of normal precipitation.
Several Northern California water agencies already have called for customers to reduce their water consumption.
The Regional Water Authority (RWA), which represents more than 20 local water providers, urges customers to do their part to reduce water use before it becomes mandatory.
Here are some tips for wise water use during the winter season:
Plants typically don’t need as much water this time of year. Lower temperatures, shorter daylight hours and moisture from fog (and hopefully rain) all combine to reduce the water demands of a typical landscape. If you have the type of lawn that is dormant during the winter, most likely it does not need any supplemental water.
In addition, turn off the water while cleaning dishes, brushing teeth or shaving.
Consider upgrading water-wasting sprinklers and irrigation equipment. Many water providers offer rebates to help offset costs.