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Water Conservation

Emergency Planning
Education Programs
Conservation Tips
Landscaping Competition
Helpful Links

South Mesa Water Company is committed to making water conservation simple and easy for our customers.

With free elementary education classes and landscaping contests throughout the year, South Mesa wants everyone in your household to know how important it can be when using this most basic necessity!

SMWC advocates the sustainable use of our local water resources. We appreciate all your hard work in saving water and protecting what matters most.

Water conservation doesn’t have to mean sacrifice, which is good news because embracing conservation as a way of life is key to ensuring sustainable water supplies for the future.

Click here for the official drought update and learn what water uses are prohibited.

Governor Newsom has declared a state of emergency due to the ongoing drought in California. The executive order calls for a 15% voluntary water reduction.

It’s a sobering truth that as of January 2022, data shows California residents have fallen short on their 15% voluntary water reduction goal and achieved only 6%.

  The Following is Prohibited:  

  • Watering landscaping in a manner that causes runoff onto adjacent property, non-irrigated areas, private and public walkways, roadways, parking lots or structures;
  • The use of a hose to wash a motor vehicle, except where the hose is fitted with a shut-off nozzle or device that causes it to cease dispensing water immediately when not in use
  • Using a hose to clean driveways and sidewalks
  • The use of water in a fountain or other decorative water feature, except where the water is part of a recirculating system
  • Irrigating turf or ornamental landscaping and plants during and 48 hours following any measurable precipitation

Violation of any part of the prohibited action is punishable by a fine of up to $500 for each day in which the violation occurs. South Mesa Water Company will be issuing warning letters and/or citations to water wasters.

  Water Conservation Reminders:  

  • Set irrigation timers to water between the hours of 8:00 PM and 6:00 PM
  • Maintain a 20% reduction of overall water consumption. If your household falls within the Essential Usage Tier or has already reduced consumption by 20%, we are NOT asking for further reduction we simply want to say “Thank You!”
  • Use water wisely. Every drop we save today is water we will have available for the future
  • Spread the word! Encourage friends, family and neighbors to joint he effort.
  • Report water wasters! You can do so anonymously by contacting us by telephone or email

The Water Shortage Contingency Plan (WSCP) is a document designed to help South Mesa Water Company prepare for and respond to water shortages. These shortages can happen because of drought, earthquake, fire, or water infrastructure failure.

The WSCP helps to protect the SMWC from service disruptions. The more severe the shortage of water is, the more steps that will be taken to reduce water consumption.

Current Level: Level 1

Level Conditions Percent Reduction Examples of Actions
Level I Normal Conditions Up to 10% Leaking plumbing fixtures shall be repaired promptly
Level II Water Alert Conditions Up to 20% There shall be no washing of driveways and sidewalks; restaurants may only serve water upon request
Level III Water Warning Conditions Up to 30% Swimming pools and fountains are not to be refilled once drained
Level IV Water Emergency Conditions Up to 40%
Up to 50%
No watering lawns and landscapes; water use limited to essential household, commercial, manufacturing or processing uses.

The plan will work if everyone does the water conservation measures that are recommended for each level.

South Mesa Water District offers free student water education programs and activities that support the science curriculum goals of teachers and align with the California State Curriculum Standards as well as the California Education and the Environment Initiative (EEI). We work in partnership with the San Bernardino Valley Municipal Water District, San Gorgonio Pass Water Agency, and the Inland Empire Resource Conservation District (IERCD) to bring you free live presentations!

Want your kids to learn about the water cycle, California’s water, water recycling, the drought and the importance of water  conservation? Schedule a free live presentation for your student’s class or request a live Zoom presentation by emailing info@southmesawater.com.

We have put together some activities below for teachers to use in the classroom or parents to lead their children at home. We hope you enjoy!


Build an Aquifer
Cloud Jars
Groundwater Demonstration
Vocabulary Words
Water Filtration
Let’s Learn the Water Cycle
Spelling Words
● Check out the IERCD page Conservation Connections for a full list of activities for kids of all ages.

The average Californian uses 196 gallons of water per day. See how your water usage compares with the Water Calculator. Here are some ways to bring that number down:

  • Check to see if you have leaks
    • Toilet leaks are the #1 worst leak. Do the dye test: Put food coloring in the toilet tank, if the color seeps into the toilet bowl you have a leak and need to replace the flapper.
  • Use high-efficiency appliances like clothes washers, toilets, and dishwashers
  • Install aerators on your faucets
  • Replace old shower heads with new WaterSense verified models

60% of the average home’s water usage goes toward its landscape. Save big in money and water with the following:

  • Use an irrigation controller, drip irrigation, or rotating spray nozzles
  • Irrigate from 4 am to 8 am
  • Irrigate up to 3 days a week during the summer, up to 2 days spring and fall, and 1 day during the winter
  • Use moisture sensors
  • Use rain barrels to catch water for outdoor use
  • Use turf and native plants as an alternative to lawns


  • Take 5-minute showers
  • Participate in meatless Mondays. It takes about 500 gallons of water to produce 1 lb. of chicken meat and 4000-18,000 gallons of water to produce one 1/3 lb. hamburger! Source: http://www2.worldwater.org/data.html
  • Use biocompatible cleaning products like Dr. Bronner’s and BioPac Oasis which break down into components that benefit the environment rather than pollute it.

Follow South Mesa Water Company on Facebook for regular conservation tips and tricks!

Congratulations to Denise Gastel, the winner of the Fire-Resistant Landscaping competition!

South Mesa Water Company hosted a Fire-Resistant Landscaping Contest for its customers/shareholders to strengthen community resilience against fire and drought.

Finalists were judged by Battalion Fire Chief Tim O’Connell from the Calimesa Fire Department and the South Mesa Water Company Board of Directors at their September 8th, Board of Directors meeting. Gastel’s landscape scored the highest for presence of fire-resistant plant species, defensible space, and overall aesthetics

Denise Gastel was awarded $200 to Beaumont Cherry Valley Nursery, and received a Certificate of Recognition for her dedication and achievements from Senator Rosilice Ochoa Bogh and Assemblymember Chad Mayes.

The Calimesa Fire Department came out to congratulate Gastel on her win and talked about the importance of her commitment to water conservation and community resilience.

South Mesa thanks everyone who took the time to learn about fire-resilience and encourages everyone to follow Gastel’s lead and start implementing more California-friendly plants and defensible space to combat the drought and fire.


      1. CAL Fire: Fire Resistant Landscaping
      2. What is Defensible Space?
      3. List of Fire-Resistant Plant Species
      4. Fight Fires with Maintenance
      5. Sustainable and Fire-Safe Landscapes
      6. “Succulents Saved My Home”


Fire-resistant plants
 are typically native to California, grow close to the ground, have low sap content, and grow without producing fuel (dead debris). These plants protect your home by cooking rather than catching and spreading fire.

Defensible Space is a 10-foot border around your home of strategically placed fire-resistant plants, mulch, rock, patios, pathways, and similar features that provide a fuel break in the case of a fire.

Time to show off all of your hard work you’ve put into making your landscape beautiful! Submit photos that best capture the beauty of your home and gardens to win.

Home Water Works – Explore water conservation through the Water Use Calculator; learn about indoor and outdoor water conservation tips; learn about the relationship between water and energy; and more!

Save Our Water – This website focuses on how all Californians can help conserve our precious water resources. This is a great site for families, as it has a thorough and interactive Kids page.

So Cal Yard Transformation – Learn how to get the (water efficient) yard you want! From planning to soil and plant selection, this website is your go-to landscape design resource.

Water Saving Garden Friendly – This website focuses on landscapes that thrive in the Inland Empire.  It provides online landscape “tours” and galleries of sample landscapes for a variety of landscape types.

Water Sense – Water Sense is a program run by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. WaterSense is a label for water-efficient products and a resource for helping you save water.

Drought Tips & Info

Help your trees survive the drought

What a 20% outdoor reduction 

How to garden during a drought

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