Through extensive water-reduction programs they were able to reduce use from 65 gallons per person per day in 2000-1 to 39 gallons in 2010-11 — enough to help save the city from running dry.
Distributing free water-saving equipment, advertising on television and radio, a program for garden centers which included planting drought-tolerant native plants and using mulch on their garden, water bills that told customers how much they were using and rebates on water-efficient washing machines and rainwater tanks were all tools used to reduce water demand.
Rainwater harvesting tank usage increased from 16.7 percent of households to 29.6 percent through.
California is similarly facing it's worst drought in 1200 years! Californians use about 75 gallons per day. California has begun to use similar tools that were deployed in Australia during the millenium drought.
Governor Jerry Brown announced the first ever statewide mandatory reduction in urban water use in April 2015 which calls on Californians to reduce their use of potable (safe for drinking and food preparation) urban water by 25% from pre-drought levels. Californians are meeting the mandate.
However, more can be done in California. Australia made much larger, comprehensive investments in water conservation and efficiency involving households, businesses and local governments.
If each house (just over 1,000,000 million homes as of 2013) installed a properly sized rainwater capture system, with just ONE inch of rain we could capture 1,200,000,000 gallons of water - that is 1200 gallons per household, with only ONE inch! The average house in San Diego is approximately 2,000 square feet, not to mention businesses.
Visit our site for details on catching rainwater. Catching Rainwater Page