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Water Use Efficiency and Conservation


On March 24, 2023, the Governor announced that as a result of significant and ongoing storms, the drought in California has abated and released Executive Order N-5-23 ending the requirement for local water agencies to implement a level II or higher of their drought contingency plans.   On April 11, 2023, the Tuolumne Utilities District Board of Directors rescinded the TUD Water Conservation Contingency Plan from Phase II back to Phase I.

Phase I measures include ongoing water conservation education, prohibiting wasteful water irrigation use, encouraging customers to repair leaks and breaks in a timely manner, proactive measures to reduce system water loss, and maintaining a ban on wasteful water use.

The District continues to encourage all of our water customers to use water wisely. See the tips listed below on how to reduce your water use.

Click the link below for helpful tips on how you can save water today!

Take a look at these tips to reduce your use where you can

Research tells us that people often decide to water their yard just by looking at their plants or if the weather is hot and dry. The result is that often people overwater, applying more than their lawn and plants need. The only way to know for sure is to check soil moisture with a moisture meter or dig down with a hand shovel to determine soil moisture.

Replacing older sprinklers with high-efficiency rotary nozzles can improve your sprinkler system’s efficiency by 30 percent while building a healthy lawn. Rotary nozzles slowly deliver multiple rotating streams of water, reducing water waste by applying water at a rate the soil more easily absorbs.
These sprinkler timers act like a thermostat for your sprinklers, adjusting the amount of water plants and lawn receive according to weather conditions, soil type, sun exposure (such as shade vs. full sun), and plant type.
Watering your plants and lawn before 10 a.m. or after 8 p.m. is a good way to ensure your plants gets all the water.

The most common type of leak inside a home is a toilet leak, which can waste 200 gallons of water per day. That’s enough to wash seven loads of laundry every day for a month.

Finding out if a toilet leaks is quick and straightforward. Add a few drops of food coloring or a dye tab to the tank and wait about 15 minutes. If the color appears in the bowl, there is a leak. The cause of a toilet leak is often a worn toilet flapper, which can break down over time. And, when in doubt, be sure to consult a professional plumber.

Some sprinkler systems apply water faster than the ground will absorb, causing water to runoff your landscape into the street and gutter. Cycle and soak is a process of running your sprinklers in shorter increments spaced out over a period to allow for better absorption by the soil. For example, if you are running your sprinklers for eight minutes, break the watering cycle into two increments of four minutes, spaced an hour apart. This allows the water to better permeate through the soil and get to where it is needed.

The Landowner Resiliency Program (LRP) engages with property owners to promote local onsite water treatments such as rainwater harvestinggreywater reusestormwater management  and water efficient landscaping. Landowners receive professional guidance to ensure their project is built to code specifications and maximize their water conservation goals. LRP assists with system design, planning, project management as well as material and tank rebates to help offset costs. Through this program, local landowners will efficiently manage their onsite water resources towards a more resilient future.

For more details about this program, click this link for the Landowner Resilience Partnership website.

In partnership between the Association of California Water Agencies (ACWA) and the California Department of Water Resources, statewide water conservation education is available to consumers with information on reducing household water use, both indoors and outdoors. is expanding its focus on changing long-term water-use behavior to help Californians keep the momentum they have built as they answer the call to save water. Check out the website today!

Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) offers a variety of energy-efficiency products and appliance rebates. Find out more at

TUD is glad to partner with the Tuolumne County Master Gardeners who offer FREE advice and guidance to help all residents manage gardens and landscapes during this drought. Visit the University of California Tuolumne County Master Gardeners website today by clicking here.

Leaks inside your toilet can waste up to 200 gallons of water per day! Using toilet tank leak detector tablets give you a quick, easy way to check for leaks. Stop by TUD’s offices at 18885 Nugget Blvd., in Sonora to pick up your free toilet tank leak detector tablets.

Tuolumne Utilities District has teamed up with the local Master Gardeners in an effort to continue to educate our customers about various ways to conserve water. For tips on gardening in your area, visit the University of California Tuolumne County Master Gardeners website by clicking here. Stop by TUD’s office today to pick up the latest TUD and Master Gardener’s brochure on “Save Water in your Garden and Landscape” or “Foothill-Friendly Gardening”. Garden Information Or you may download these Garden Information brochures by downloading below:



TUD is here to help you and your family do its part to use water wisely and more efficiently. Sign up today to see if you qualify for our Toilet Rebate Program. This program is offered to TUD treated water customers only. Click this link to complete the application, Toilet Rebate Application.

State Long-Term Water Use Efficiency Legislation Information

On May 31, 2018, Governor Jerry Brown signed long-term water-use efficiency bills AB 1668 (Friedman, D-Glendale) and SB 606 (Hertzberg, D-Van Nuys) into law. The new water use efficiency laws, AB 1668 and SB 606, provide an interrelated framework intended to strengthen the state’s water resiliency in the face of future droughts by establishing standards and guidelines for efficient water use. These bills were intended to implement the Brown Administration’s April 2017 water conservation policy framework Making Water Conservation a California Way of Life. The California Department of Water Resources (DWR) and the State Water Resources Control Board (State Water Board) are the state agencies with primary responsibility for administering the new water use efficiency legislation.

As A TUD Customer What You Should Know

Tuolumne Utilities District is closely monitoring the guidelines and implementation for these long-term water-use efficiency requirements. The water-use efficiency targets will be set for an entire service area and are scheduled to go into effect in 2023. The new water use efficiency laws build upon and essentially replace the current “20×2020” requirements for “urban water suppliers” (water agencies serving 3,000 or more connections or 3,000 or more acre feet) to have reduced water use by 20% from a prescribed baseline by the year 2020. The new laws still focus mostly on urban water suppliers, which TUD is considered under the State’s guidelines.

  • Water agencies such as TUD, are required to calculate a water efficiency standard for their entire service area annually based on indoor residential water use; outdoor water use; and commercial, industrial and institutional irrigation.
  • The standard of 55 gallons per person per day for indoor residential water use is not intended as an enforceable standard for individuals. It is one of several elements used to calculate the overall efficiency standard for a service area.
  • Individuals will not be responsible for State Water Resources Control Board fines. Instead, the State Water Board can fine water agencies up to $10,000 per day if the agency does not meet its cumulative standard.
  • There is no law against showering and doing laundry on the same day. There are no specific statewide laws that require individual households to meet any specific targets. The targets will be set for an entire service area and are scheduled to go into effect in 2023.

More information on Water

Pick the best lawn for conservation provided by UCDavis, Agriculture and Natural Resources, California Drought Preparedness – Protecting California’s Most Precious Resource: Water, and California Department of Water Resources – Climate Change

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