Drought is Over, but Conservation is a Way of Life!
On April 7, 2017, the Governor officially terminated the Drought State of Emergency in California after more than three years. While Napa and other cities will no longer be subject to state-mandated emergency water use reductions, the State Water Board has retained statewide regulations that prohibit water waste and the City is enforcing for all customers:
Click for WATER WASTE PROHIBITIONS
In January 2014, the Governor first declared a Drought State of Emergency. With record low snowpack in the Sierra Nevada mountains in 2015, the Governor issued Executive Orders in April 2015 and November 2015 mandating statewide reductions in urban water use. Under the implementing regulations adopted by the State Water Board, the City of Napa was required to reduce its total water consumption by 20% for the period of June 2015 through May 2016 (compared to those same months in 2013).
The Napa community responded exceptionally well to the statewide drought emergency. Water usage in Napa went down 25%, beating our target by 5%, saving 1.2 billion gallons, and achieving our lowest usage since the 1987-92 drought, when the population was 14,000 fewer and extensive hotel development had yet to occur.
Thanks to drought easing in Northern California in 2016, the State Water Board then allowed urban water suppliers to develop conservation standards based on their own local circumstances. With our local reservoirs filling this winter and a 100% allocation from the State Water Project for 2017, City of Napa water supplies are reliable and after May 2016 we were no longer subject to a percentage savings mandate. However, as the Governor's May 2016 Executive Order made clear, water conservation must be considered a way of life. Now, along with officially ending the drought emergency, the state has finalized its plan for Making Water Conservation a California Way of Life. We urge customers to maintain water-wise habits learned during the drought, as we transition back to meeting our long-term water use efficiency goals and move to address the future requirements of this new state plan.
Water use efficiency and water conservation form an integral part of the City of Napa's long-term water management strategy. As a signatory to the Memorandum of Understanding Regarding Urban Water Conservation in California, the City is committed to implementing the appropriate Best Management Practices (BMPs) to ensure future supply reliability. To comply with the Water Conservation Act of 2009 (SBx7-7), the City is working to reduce demand below 132 gallons per capita per day (gpcd) by 2020. For our customers this means we are available to help you make every drop count, and every drop you save will reduce your own water bill!
From 1997 to 2002, demand on our water system averaged 170 gpcd. Since 2003 when the City began to implement more California BMPs, demand has averaged 146 gpcd, including a low of 116 gpcd in 2015. This trend results from the evolution of water-efficient appliances, City ordinances and programs, and water recycling. We look to continue this progress by offering our customers a variety of financial incentives and educational opportunities:
- Virtual Water Saver Home Tour
- Water-Wise Landscaping
- Residential Programs
- Commercial Programs
- Free Water-Saving Devices
- Public Events
- School Education
- Water Conservation "How to" Video Library
Check out the Save Our Water Video: Quick Facts about Water Use in California - And Why You Should Conserve
Reminder for Outside City customers: Whether located inside or outside the City limits, if your site is served by the City of Napa water system (i.e. you receive a City of Napa water bill) then you are eligible for all of our water-saving incentives!
All Napa County Residents: Click on this handy Countywide Water Conservation Map to find water-saving programs available for your home or business.
Just click here to learn everything you need to know about saving water at home.
This comprehensive web site is operated by the California Water Efficiency Partnership.
Wondering how much water your own house uses? Try this handy Water Use Calculator (courtesy of the Alliance for Water Efficiency).
Nearly half of Napa's treated drinking water is used outdoors, much of it wasted in overwatering lawns and gardens. Like only 2% of the world, Napa has a Mediterranean climate, with cool, wet winters and summer droughts. Selecting appropriate plants, mulching, and frequently adjusting irrigation to match the weather are just a few of the actions you can take to save water in your landscape.
- Click to Water-Wise Gardening in the Napa Valley, a free on-line resource!
Visit the inspiring Garden Gallery. Browse more than 1,000 climate-appropriate plants. Create a printable plant list. Discover design, irrigation, maintenance tips, and more!
- Practice the 8 Basic Principles of Water-Wise Landscaping.
- Attend our free Water-Wise Landscaping Workshops.
- Visit our Demonstration Gardens.
- Search for a local Bay-Friendly Qualified Landscape Professional.
- Earn a "Cash For Grass" Turf Replacement Rebate.
- Find Rainwater Harvesting/Rain Garden resources.
- Learn about Laundry-to-Landscape Greywater Systems.
- Schedule your free Water-Wise Home Survey or Business Survey.
- Make irrigation scheduling easy with Sprinkler Times, our free online tool.
- Make every month Smart Irrigation Month!
- Find a Qualified Water Efficient Landscaper (QWEL).
- Learn about our Central Control Irrigation for Parks and Schools.
DROUGHT SURVIVAL GUIDES:
Single-family and multi-family residential water use represents about 65% of Napa's total demand. Residential customers save water and money by using the most efficient indoor appliances and fixtures, fixing leaks, and practicing water-wise landscaping. Our incentive programs can help:
- Water-Wise Home Survey
- Toilet Replacement
- Clothes Washer Rebate
- Sprinkler Times Scheduling Tool
- "Cash For Grass" Turf Replacement Rebate
- State of California Turf Replacement for Single-Family Residences - while funds last
- HERO Financing Program for Water and Energy Efficiency Upgrade Projects
Commercial, industrial, and institutional water use represents more than 25% of Napa's total demand. Business, government, and non-profit institutions save water and money by using the most efficient appliances, fixtures, and processes, and by practicing water-wise landscaping. Our incentive programs can help:
- Water-Wise Business Survey
- Smart Rebates
- Sprinkler Times Scheduling Tool
- "Cash For Grass" Turf Replacement Rebate
- Green Business Stipend
Check out other energy- and water-saving Equipment Rebates from PG&E.
Free Water-Saving Devices
City of Napa water customers are entitled to an array of free conservation devices and literature. You may receive these items as part of a Water-Wise Home Survey or Business Survey, or by visiting our display at various public events. Or you may simply pick them up at Water Division headquarters, 1340 Clay Street, Downtown Napa (intersection of Clay and Franklin Streets).
- Showerhead: 1.5 gallon-per-minute (gpm) Earth Showerhead, available in White or Chrome
- Shower Timer: 5-minute Anti-Gravity Shower Timer helps change habits
- Bathroom Faucet Aerators: 0.5/1.0/1.5 gpm, residential and commercial
- Kitchen Faucet Aerator: 1.5 gpm, dual-setting with swivel
- Toilet Dye: for leak detection
- Toilet Fill Cycle Diverter: Tankee Clipper may save up to a half gallon with each flush
- Rain Gauge: comes with Sprinkler Times promo
- Garden Hose Nozzle: 7-position Deluxe Water Efficient Hose Nozzle
- Garden Hose Timer: automatic shutoff, minutes to 2-hours duration
- Garden Hose Meter: Save A Drop Water Meter attaches easily
- California Water Facts (Water Education Foundation)
- Educational Water Wheel (tips from Niagara Conservation)
- Practical Plumbing Handbook (California Urban Water Conservation Council)
- Water for Tomorrow Magazine
- Easy WaterWise Gardening (Sunset)
- Gardening for Wildlife with Native Plants (Bay Nature)
- Soil Matters (Bay Nature)
- Drip Irrigation Guide (Harmony Farm Supply)
- Drought Survival 101 Guides
- Save Our Water "Dear Neighbor" Door Hangers
- various other water and energy program brochures
Look for the City of Napa Water Conservation Booth at various community events throughout the year. Sign up for rebates and other water-saving programs, pick up free devices and literature, and check out our educational displays. Youth-oriented events may feature our Prize Wheel or Knock Out Water Waste game. A partial calendar for 2017 is listed here:
Water Conservation Showcase
Tuesday, March 21
Pacific Energy Center, San Francisco
Saturday, April 22
Oxbow Commons, Downtown Napa
Napa-Solano Home & Garden Show
Napa Valley Expo Fairgrounds
Napa Farmers Market
Selected Tuesday and Saturday mornings, April-November
South Napa Century Center, 195 Gasser Drive
Napa County Watershed Symposium
Wednesday, May 24
Blue Note Napa, 1030 Main Street
Bay-Friendly Garden Tour
Sunday, June 4
Napa and Yountville
Connolly Ranch Walk-in Wednesday
Wednesday, July 5, 3-5pm
3141 Browns Valley Road
Napa Town & Country Fair
Napa Valley Expo Fairgrounds
Yountville Days Festival
Napa Sanitation District Open House
1515 Soscol Ferry Road
Knowledge of local, regional, and global water supply issues allows citizens to make appropriate decisions in preserving today's water for tomorrow's generation. A water conservation ethic instilled at an early age will last a lifetime.
Project WET Workshop: Napa County teachers can gain access to award-winning classroom activities and earn a $75 stipend or 0.5 CEU by participating in Project WET for the Napa Valley, six hours of hands-on, action-packed training. Stay tuned for our next local offering. Project WET (Water Education for Teachers) promotes awareness, appreciation, knowledge, and stewardship of water resources through the dissemination of classroom-ready teaching aids. Interdisciplinary activities for grades K-12 are designed to enhance existing curriculum and are aligned to Common Core State Standards.
Water Treatment Plant Field Trip: Tour of the Edward I. Barwick Jamieson Canyon Water Treatment Plant, either separately or as part of combined full-day trip in conjunction with Napa Recycling & Composting Facility and Napa Sanitation District Water Recycling Facility. Water Treatment Plant portion is 60-90 minutes including introductory discussion, escorted tour, and drinking water-related giveaways for students. Grades K-12. 40 students maximum. Tuesdays preferred. Transportation costs may be covered.
Classroom Presentation: 40-60 minute interactive presentation on fresh water supply issues affecting California and Napa. Emphasis is on water conservation methods. Includes brainstorming contest on ways to save water in the home and conservation-related giveaways for students. Grades K-12.
High School Video Contest: The 2nd annual Napa County Water Conservation Public Service Announcement (PSA) Contest was open to all students in grades 9-12 attending school in Napa County. The 2016-17 contest theme was Reimagine Your Yard: Conserving Water Outdoors. The 1st Place Winner was a collaborative team effort by Sarah Lippmann, Andrew Raymond, and Elena Ingram from Napa High School. The winners each received a $60 gift card for the Century Napa Valley Theatre, where their video was shown before all films April 21-27, 2017. Visit the contest web page to view the top three videos from the first two years, and stay tuned for details on the 2017-18 contest.
Teachers and youth group leaders should also visit the CREEC web site to find additional environmental education opportunities.
Other Water Education Web Sites:
- Discover Water
- Save Our Water Kids Corner
- Water Education Foundation
- USGS Water Science School
- EPA WaterSense Kids