With California in its second consecutive dry year, rental housing providers can expect calls for water-conservation to pick up.

On Monday, Gov. Gavin Newsom significantly expanded his April 21 drought emergency proclamation to include Klamath River, Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta and Tulare Lake Watershed. In total, 41 counties are now under a drought state of emergency, representing 30 percent of the state’s population.

“We’re working with local officials and other partners to protect public health and safety and the environment and call on all Californians to help meet this challenge by stepping up their efforts to save water,” Newsom said in a press release.

Last month, Newsom signed an emergency proclamation directing state agencies to take immediate action to bolster drought resilience across the state and declaring a state of emergency in Mendocino and Sonoma counties due to severe drought conditions in the Russian River Watershed.

Extraordinarily warm temperatures in April and early May separate this critically dry year from all others on California record, the governor’s office said.

Newsom’s executive action last month directed state agencies to partner with local water suppliers to promote conservation through the Save Our Water campaign, a critical resource for Californians during the 2012-2016 drought.

Some municipalities have already adopted mandatory local water-saving requirements, and many more have called for voluntary water use reductions.

Owners and operators of rental housing and their residents can begin taking steps now to save water. The California Apartment Association encourages rental housing providers to work with tenants to encourage these easy-to-follow water-saving tips:



  • Minimize use of kitchen sink garbage disposal units
  • Soak pots and pans instead of letting the water run while scraping them clean
  • Run the dishwasher only when full


  • Shorten shower to five minutes
  • Turn off the faucet while shaving or brushing your teeth
  • Do not use the toilet as a wastebasket

Laundry room

  • Use washing machine for full loads only
  • Wash dark clothes in cold water
  • Repair leaks in plumbing and hoses ASAP


  • Water your lawn before 5 a.m. or sunrise
  • Use shut-off nozzles on all garden hoses
  • Use a broom, not a hose, to clean driveways and sidewalks
  • Report a waste water incident by calling your water provider
  • Plant water-efficient landscaping
  • Do not water the gutter

Rebates and incentives

Did you know that most water agencies offer free water use inspections and that there are water conservation rebates and programs available through your local cities? Contact your local city hall to find out more about these incentives and how they could save money.