Drought 2015: Making Every Drop Count


As all Californians know, the severity of the drought put as in a state of emergency last year and Governor Brown asked for a voluntary 20% reduction in water use statewide.  This year looks even more dire. The close of our official rainy season, which provides California with 90 percent of its water, was marked with record high temperatures and record low rainfall. Reservoirs are low. Landscapes are parched. And the Sierra Nevada snowpack, which usually supplies 30 percent of the state’s water as it melts through early summer, is at its second-lowest level on record. 

“We can’t make it rain,” Governor Brown said in his State of Emergency Declaration, but we can be much better prepared for the terrible consequences that California’s drought now threatens.”

It’s no surprise, then, that Governor Brown issued an Executive Order on April 1 2015 that called for the first-ever statewide mandatory water reduction to slash water use by 25% (compared to 2013 levels) and increase enforcement to prevent wasteful water use. As a result, the State Water Resources Control Board (SWRCB) adopted an expanded emergency regulation and has imposed a new round of water conservation rules, including sharp restrictions on landscape watering as well as orders to restaurants not to serve water to customers unless asked. 

What does this mean to Santa Ana residents? Santa Ana has already reduced its water consumption by 13% since 2013, which means we still need to achieve an additional 12% in water savings this year. Below are the new restrictions and requirements for Santa Ana residents and businesses to comply with state regulations and local ordinances. 

So, how can you do your part to reach our 12% goal? Instrumental to conservation is awareness, participation and collaboration:


How many of us leave the water running as we brush our teeth and watch TV? Or run the shower for five-minutes or more to allow it to warm up? Be mindful of the water you use and ask whether or not you need to actually be using it. Your small routines could be wasting upwards of six liters of water, which is more drinking water than many impoverished families are allocated per week. 


Close the tap when you’re not using it. Install a water-friendly showerhead which will save gallons of water while you warm up your shower. Use a plastic tub in your sink to wash produce and re-use the grey water to rinse dishes and to water your plants. Be sure to follow our water-saving tips. A few small changes in wasteful habits can make a big difference in your water consumption.


If everyone does their part to conserve, California can avoid more severe measure like rationing. Get involved with your local water department, discover new and creative ways to save water and spread awareness to your family, neighbors and friends. We can’t make it rain, but we can make a difference. 

Do your part to conserve by reporting any water wasting activities in your neighborhood to the City.


3 Ways to Report Water Wasting:


Call the water hotline:


Use the “mySantaAna”
smartphone app 


Email us at
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.



Washing only full loads of dishes and laundry saves 50 gallons of water a week. If every family in the Southland did this, we’d save over 200 million gallons of water every week working together. That’s over 10 billion gallons of water a year!

Outdoors, check your sprinklers for leaks, water in the morning or in the evening when it’s cooler. Or better yet, change your thirsty lawn into a yard with California Friendly plants that use a lot less water.

2015 Emergency Conservation Requirements For Santa Ana


  • Mandatory 12% reduction in water use compared to usage during the same billing period in 2013.
  • Outdoor watering is restricted to Mondays and Thursdays, and only between the hours of 6 p.m. and 6 a.m.*
  • Leaks must be repaired within 48 hours of notification by the City.
  • No washing down sidewalks or driveways.
  • No excessive water flow or runoff that causes water to flow onto an adjoining sidewalk, driveway, street,
  • alley, gutter or ditch.
  • No washing vehicles with a hose, unless the hose is fitted wit h a shut-off nozzle.
  • No operating a fountain or decorative water feature, unless t he water is part of a recirculating system.
  • No outdoor watering during and 48 hours following measurable rainfall.


  • Restaurants and other food service establishments can only serve water to customers on request.
  • Hotels and Motels must provide guests with the option of not having towels and linens laundered daily.

* In addition to this requirement, the City of Santa Ana is currently replacing turf in street mediums with drought tolerant landscapes.