Water Efficiency


Ventura Water Customers Requested To Voluntarily Reduce Water Use By 10%

In response to historic dry conditions, Ventura Water began requesting customers to voluntarily reduce their water use by 10% as a proactive step to stretch diminishing water supplies.  Due to the third year of dry conditions and the lack of normal winter rainfall: 

  • The water level of the Ventura River, a primary water supply during the rainy season, is very low and continues to drop.
  • A number of groundwater wells have required urgent maintenance which is limiting our water supply operations.
  • Ventura’s other water supply, Lake Casitas is at 60% and we have been alerted that if the Lake drops to 50%, the Casitas Municipal Water District (operator of Lake Casitas) will begin allocating water.  Without rain, this may happen in August or September.
  • Have more questions?Read our Voluntary 10% Water Conservation FAQs
  • Como usar el agua eficientemente - ideas en Español.

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Top Suggestions For Using Less Water

Reviewing your water bill is a good first step to understand how much water is being used.  Another good source of information is the Home Water Works Calculator that will give you specific tips based on your individual household's water use.

Suggestion #1
Fixing leaks both indoors and outdoors is the easiest step to reduce water use.  One leaking toilet can waste between 300 to 60,000 gallons per month and even a slow drip from a faucet can use 450 gallons per month.  Outdoor leaks from irrigation systems are also responsible for a lot of water waste.

Suggestion #2
Lawns are commonly over-watered and there are a number of strategies customers can try to help their landscapes through the drought.  The top recommendation is to reduce the number of watering minutes and times per week one step at a time and watch your landscape for signs of stress.  You may be surprised at how little water it really needs. 

If you have been considering alternative landscaping, such as native gardens or native grass or even synthetic lawns, then this may be a good time to make the switch.  To learn more, sign up for our free Water Wise classes starting in March.

Some other ways to save 10%....Never Waste Bottle Sign

  • If you were already considering converting your lawn into an Ocean Friendly or Water Wise garden, now is the time to Kill Your Lawn Naturally using a sheet mulching technique promoted by Surfrider Foundation.
  • Allow your turf to grow twice as long.  Longer, denser growth requires less water to maintain. 
  • Cut you watering time by one to two minutes per cycle and watch your landscape for stress.  Adjust accordingly. This can save about 10% water use across the board.
  • Also make sure your irrigation water doesn't run off during the run cycle.  Break up cycles into shorter run times to avoid overspray and/or run-off.
  • Test your water meter to ensure you don't have a leak.  Turn off all the water in your home.  Read your meter.  Wait for a period of time; like 20 minutes and then read your meter again.  If it moved, then you possibly have a leak. 
  • Upgrade current spray nozzles which are inefficient and can use up to 3 gallons per minute to conserving "rotator nozzles".  All major irrigation supply companies sell these nozzles, which cost between $4-5 each and can save 20-30% water consumption, if installed properly and your timer is set appropriately. 
  • Save the water in a bucket or pitcher while you are waiting for it to heat up.  This can amount to 5 to 10 gallons per day depending upon the size of the household.  Reuse the water for your garden or to flush the toilet.
  • Don't allow the water to run while washing dishes or brushing your teeth or shaving.  This can save upwards of 10 gallons per day depending upon household size. 
  • Remember to wash only full loads in the dish washer and clothes washer. 
  • Don't hose of your driveway or sidewalk.  Use a broom. 
  • Don't wash your car in the street.  Go to a car wash that recycles its water.  Or wash it on the lawn and reduce one run time on your irrigation clock. 
  • Put aerators on all your faucets.  This can save up to 3 gallons per sink.  The City provides these for free to residents. .
  • Install a low-flow shower-head.  The City also provides these for free to residents.  Call 652-4501 or 667-6500.
  • Even though it isn't raining; when we do have even a small rain event, like 1", you can capture that water in a rain barrel for later use.  1,000 sf of roof can shed up to 620 gallons of water in a 1" rain event.  That's about 12 rain barrels!  The City offers a 50% discount for rain barrels through Smith Pipe Supply. 
  • Mulch around your trees and shrubs and in your planter beds.  Make sure you make a "doughnut" around the base of the trees to prevent rot.  Mulch keeps the soil moist and can reduce weeds.  The City offers free mulch at Cornucopia Gardens.  You just need your own way to haul it off.  The first pile on the right is available for all City residents.  Cornucopia Gardens is located across from Community Park on Telephone Rd. just beyond Ramelli Drive. 

By implementing these measures now, you can see a 10% reduction in your water use by the next billing period. 

Water Calculator Helps Homeowners Test Your Water IQ

Check out this free, easy online tool for homeowners - Home Water Works - launched by the Alliance for Water Efficiency to Test Your Water IQ and discover how you use water, along with valuable tips to whittle away hundreds of gallons.

The Water Calculator, the website's interactive tool, makes water saving a personal equation.  In less than a minute, you can estimate your family's average daily use - indoors and out.  The Water Calculator guides you from bathroom to kitchen to backyard, suggesting ways to save more water and taking into account steps already taken such as drip irrigation or low-flow toilets.  Then, follow the links to see how simple tips can lead to big savings.     

The estimates are based on national water use studies and climate data, tailored by zip code.  Created through a unique partnership by the Alliance for Water Efficiency with Chicago's Field Museum and financed in part by a grant from the Home Depot, the Water Calculator also estimates the carbon footprint associated with heating water for your home.


How Can I Be More Water Efficient?

A healthy watershed is important to all of us.  
We are fortunate to have local water sources that are rather pristine.  Our community does not receive water from the State Water Project.  What falls locally here in our watershed is what is available for us to use.  Our water customers continue to be critical in reducing Ventura's overall water demand. Customers use less water today then in 1970, even though the population has increased by 80%. Even in non-drought years water conservation makes sense, since unused water can be stored and made available for use later.

Did you know that 40 to 60% or more of a typical household water use is outdoor irrigation?  Toilets and washing machines tend to be the highest indoor water users.  These are the top areas where you can focus your efforts to maximize your results. 

Casitas Municipal Water District

Casitas Municipal Water District provides approximately 1/3 of Ventura's water supply to customers who live within the Casitas district.  This area includes Ventura's westside and midtown, generally west of Mills Road.  Ventura Water customers who live in the Casitas District pay an assessment annually through their property taxes.

These customers are eligible for free water surveys and rebates offered by Casitas. For more information, call (805) 649-2251 ext. 110 or visit www.casitaswater.org.

For customers who live outside their district boundaries, please call (805) 652-4501 to find out what services are available to you. 

The following are a few websites that provide information and resources to help you conserve water in your home:


Smart from the Start

Ocean Friendly Gardens

Graywater Rules for Ventura County

Save Our Water


Water Efficiency Plan

The City Council provided feedback and approved the Water Efficiency Plan on September 19, 2011.  The plan is the action program resulting from requirements in the recently adopted Urban Water Management Plan, and includes a suite of current and proposed programs and actions intended to engage our customers in the pursuit of greater water and energy efficiency over the next five years.

Water Efficiency Plan (pdf 1172KB)

City Manager's Report Presentation Water Efficiency Plan Year One - September 10, 2012 (pdf 393KB)

City Council Workshop Presentation - September 19, 2011 (pdf 306KB)

Urban Water Management Plan

The City Council adopted the Final 2010 Urban Water Management Plan on June 20, 2011 following a Public Hearing earlier that month.   A number of interested parties submitted comments which are addressed in the Final Report and a Response Matrix.  As required, the Plan has been submitted to the California Department of Water Resources (DWR).

Our Urban Water Management Plan is designed to assess the reliability of the City’s water sources, support long-term resource planning, and ensure adequate water supplies are available to meet existing and future water demands.   Prepared every five years, this Plan also addresses new requirements to comply with State legislation (Senate Bill X7-7) to reduce overall water usage. 

Adopted Plan

Amended 2010 Urban Water Management Plan (pdf 24,289KB)

Originally adopted in June 2011, the 2010 Urban Water Management Plan was amended in May 2012 by the addition of Appendix H.

Response to Comments Matrix (pdf 87KB)

Related Resources

Department of Water Resources Urban Water Management Plan 2010 Information

Ventura’s Urban Water Management Plan 2005 (pdf 17,510KB)