Resources for Individuals Facing Water Shortages
Saving water at home is easy, use this simple calculator to estimate your annual water use and identify ways to save.
For a more in-depth look at your energy and water consumption, use WECalc, a free online tool from the Pacific Institute. WECalc will ask you a series of questions about your home water use habits and based your replies, estimates your water use and provides personalized recommendations for reducing that use.
Share your ideas on water conservation, public safety during fire season, or how the state or local governments can alleviate the drought.
Watch these Public Service Announcements!
- Lady Gaga PSA - Save Our Water
- Water Saving Tips from Team Coco
- CalOES’s Californians Don't Waste
- Quick Facts about Water Use in California -- And Why You Should Conserve
State Water Boards Emergency Conservation Regulations
An emergency regulation to increase conservation practices for all Californians was adopted in July 2014 by the State Water Resources Control Board. The new conservation regulation targets outdoor urban water use for ALL California urban water users. You can read the State Water Board’s resolution here, read a factsheet explaining the main points here, and review frequently asked questions
• To report wasteful practices in your neighborhood, at work, or by locally-owned business, and parks, please contact your local water supplier.
• Become a “Water Watcher” and report water waste on state-owned properties here.
Water Rebate$ and Loan$
Water utilities in many parts of California offer their customers rebates on purchases of water conservation devices and appliances such as high-efficiency showerheads and clothes washing machines. Some utilities even offer free items such as faucet aerators and shower timers. Low-interest loans may be available from your local government and/or water utility. Loans typically cover the cost of installing water-efficient devices and appliances inside the home and outdoors. Rebates can often be combined with loans, which helps lower the amount of financing needed.
By upgrading your appliances to energy efficient machines, both energy and water can be conserved. Check out the programs below that offer financial assistance to those wishing to upgrade.
- PG&E Rebates and Assistance Programs
- Southern Edison Rebates, Incentives, & Savings Tips
- CaliforniaFIRST Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) lets homeowners borrow money for energy upgrades (up to $75,000) and pay it back bit-by-bit on their property tax bills (over 5 to 20 years). The 17 participating counties represent 14 million California residents. Check the participating cities and counties list.
Financial Assistance for IndividualsAgency: U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Rural Development
1) Section 502: Rural Housing Direct Loan Program
2) Section 504: Rural Development, Rural Repair and Rehabilitation Loan and Grant Program
More information on 502 and 504 funding can be found on the USDA website and additional details on the basic eligibility requirements are here.
Contact your nearest USDA Rural Development office for more information.
Agency: Self-Help Enterprises (SHE) SHE was awarded two USDA Rural Assistance grants that enable SHE to establish lending programs for households water wells in rural areas and for low- and very low-income households. 3) USDA Household Water Well Systems for the repair, replacement or servicing of domestic water wells (more info). 4) USDA Housing Preservation Grants to rehabilitate a substandard housing to a safe and decent and sanitary condition. Water wells are eligible. Eligible households must live in Merced, Madera, Fresno, Tulare, Kings, and Kern counties. Individuals should contact Self-Help Enterprises directly, (559) 651-1000, for more information and to apply.
Agency: California Department of Housing and Community Development (HCD) 5) Community Development Block Grants (CDBG) Housing Rehabilitation Funds - Whether the residence is in an incorporated city or an unincorporated area, they should contact their city or county housing department (respectively) and ask about the availability of “CDBG housing rehabilitation” funding. For more information on CDBG, contact firstname.lastname@example.org. 6) CalHome - Individuals must apply via a local jurisdiction or nonprofit, awardees announced in Fall 2014. Existing awards from previous years may also be available through your counties. For more information on CalHome, contact email@example.com.Download a pdf summary of these resources here.
Additional Resources for Drought Impacts: • Small Business Administration Economic Injury Disaster Loans: Federal loans for a federally declared disaster areas (currently only fire and earthquakes areas have been declared, see database) • Funding Wizard: Searchable database for grants, incentives and rebates for sustainable projects.
For information about state resources available for drought-related issues:
• OPR Drought Hotline, 1-916-327-0068
For questions about water rights and emergency regulations during the drought: • Water Rights Hotline, 1-916-341-5342
To identify your local Office of Emergency Services: http://bit.ly/localOEScontacts