COVID-19 UPDATE | The City is coordinating closely with our public health officials at the Santa Cruz County Health Department to prevent the further spread COVID-19. In an effort to protect you and our community, changes and measures have been adopted in daily operations and activities. For further details please click here for the City’s Response to COVID-19

Water Conservation Tips

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There are a number of ways to save water, and they all start with YOU.



  • Man looking at toilet smallTake a shallow bath (bathtubs hold more than 50 gallons)
  • Don't let the water run while washing.

  • Collect shower water with a bucket to water your plants or flush your toilet.

  • Check for leaks by physically inspecting your fixtures.

  • Install low flow shower heads and aerators (available for free).

  • Check your toilets for leaks by adding food coloring to the bowl. If the color appears in the bowl after 15 minutes, you have a leak.




  • Collect the water you use for rinsing produce for your outdoor plants. 
  • Soak pots and pans instead of letting water run.
  • Install an instant hot water to avoid running the tap when waiting for it warm up. 
  • Don't let the water run when washing dishes.
  • Check for leaks and make repairs.
  • Install a low flow kitchen faucet aerator (available for free).





  • washer Use the load selector to match the water level to the size of your laundry.
  • Run the clothes washer with only full loads.
  • Pre-soak heavily soiled items.
  • Check faucets and hose connections for leaks.
  • Replace your old clothes washer with an ENERGY STAR clothes washer ($100-$200 rebate available)



  •  Attach a shut-off nozzle to your hose (available for free).controller assistance
  • Use a broom instead of a hose to clean driveways, patios, and sidewalks.
  • Use 2-3 inches of mulch around landscape plantings.
  • Water before 10:00 am or after 5:00 pm to reduce evaporation.
  • Adjust your irrigation controller to appropriately water plants across the seasons.
  • Keep your irrigation system running efficiently by physically inspecting during run times. 
  • Replace your lawn with low-water use plants ($1/sq ft. rebate available).
  • Harvest rainwater with a rain barrel (subsidized barrel available).
  • For pools and hot tubs, use a cover to reduce evaporation. 
  • Mow grasses higher, at 3 or 4 inches, to reduce water loss and promote healthy roots.
  • Use water-efficient irrigation such as drip systems, soaker hoses, or low-volume sprinklers.
  • Install a greywater laundry to landscape system ($150 rebate available).