Resources for Water Conservation & Drought

On January 17, 2014, California Governor Brown declared a drought state of emergency and directed state officials to take all necessary actions. In response, on March 13, 2014, the Alameda County Water District (ACWD) Board of Directors declared a water shortage emergency in Fremont, Newark, and Union City and adopted a Water Shortage Emergency Ordinance that includes mandatory water use restrictions.

On July 15, 2014, the State Water Resources Control Board approved an Emergency Regulation for Statewide Urban Water Conservation, mandating that all urban water agencies implement water conservation plans. Starting August 1, 2014, water restriction violations are considered criminal infractions, punishable by fines of up to $500 a day. The State Water Board has prepared a Fact Sheet on the adopted regulations for reference.

On April 1, 2015, the governor issued Executive Order B-29-15, ordering the State Water Resources Control Board to impose restrictions to achieve a 25 percent reduction in potable urban water usage through February 28, 2016; directing the California Department of Water Resources to lead a statewide initiative, in partnership with local agencies, to collectively replace 50 million square feet of lawns and ornamental turf with drought tolerant landscapes; and directing the California Energy Commission to implement a statewide appliance rebate program to provide monetary incentives for the replacement of inefficient household devices.

On November 13, 2015, the governor issued Executive Order B-36-15, stating that if drought conditions persist beyond January 2016, the restrictions imposed by Executive Order B-29-15 would be extended through October 31, 2016. On February 2, 2016 the State Water Resources Control Board adopted this extended and revised Emergency Regulation. A public workshop will be held on April 20, 2016 to solicit input on potential adjustments to the February 2016 Emergency Regulation for consideration and possible action by the State Water Board in May 2016.
ACWD Drought Resources
ACWD has put together a comprehensive Drought Resource Center offering information and resources on a variety of topics to consumers, including:

Drought Hotline: (510) 668-4470

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ACWD Water Conservation Rebate Programs 
Save Our Water
Save Our Water is a partnership between the Association of California Water Agencies (ACWA) and the California Department of Water Resources to offer Californians ideas on how to save water indoors and outdoors. The website provides daily water saving tips, information on water-wise gardening, and a home water use calculator.
Save Our Water Rebates
The State of California is offering residential water conservation rebates to supplement local rebates under the Save Our Water Rebates program. Current rebates include:

  • Turf Replacement Rebate: Up to $2 per sf (total amount combined with locally available rebate)
  • Toilet Rebate: Up to $100 for replacing a toilet over 1.6 GPF with a 1.28 GPF (Limit one per household)
​Report Water Waste
You can report water use violations to ACWD by calling (510) 668-4200 or by filling out the online water waste reporting form.
Our Water Conservation Status
View how well our community is doing to meet the 20% water use reduction goal on ACWD's Current Water Supply Conditions page.

You can also download a presentation from the January 12, 2016 City Council meeting by ACWD General Manager Robert Shaver entitled "Water Supply Reliability: The Drought and Beyond".

System-wide water usage reductions 2013-2015. Courtesy of Pacific Institute

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California Drought
The State's California Drought website provides weekly drought briefings, drought resources, news archives, and links to additional drought resources in the State of California.
Breaking Drought News 
The California Department of Water Resources (DWR) is responsible for managing and protecting California’s water. The DWR maintains a Breaking Drought News page, including up-to-date, in-depth information on precipitation, snowpack, and reservoir levels.

California Drought.png
The California Drought.png is a project of the Pacific Institute, a nonprofit based in Oakland, California dedicated to researching and finding solutions to freshwater issues. The website compiles tools, research, and information on the drought to help California understand, plan for, and find sustainable water management solutions.
U.S. Drought Portal
The National Integrated Drought Information System (NIDIS) created the U.S. Drought Portal as an information hub on current drought conditions and drought forecasting throughout the country.
U.S. Drought Monitor
The U.S. Drought Monitor, established in 1999, is a weekly map of drought conditions that is produced jointly by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, and the National Drought Mitigation Center (NDMC) at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.

The California State Drought Monitor shows that as of March 24, 2016, 73% of California is still experiencing Severe Drought.