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How San Diego Saves Water

How San Diego Saves Water 1

Due to water shortages and drought water rates in San Diego have increased 27% since 2015 and now that we have more water in the form of rain no one is talking about decreasing rates. In fact, San Diego is scheduled for another increase later this year. This is a trend repeating itself across the country. The new norm is drought – We are either coming out of a drought or moving into a drought. We are never going back to lower water rates, the only question about water rates is how fast will they go up.

sd skyline

San Diego had the forethought to battle the drought with ETwater smart controllers in several locations back in 2014. ETwater systems were installed in at six locations to manage outdoor irrigation throughout a suburban-planned coastal community in the north-western corner of San Diego. The table of ETwater results for the six months ending in September 2014 compared year-over-year to the same period 2013 shows a noteworthy parallel decrease in both water use and financial expense. ETwater technology was able to accelerate this North County irrigation conversion to achieve almost double the statewide mandate of 20% reduction in water use called for by the Governor at the beginning of the year. It also exceeded the previous 14 % water savings from the last time San Diego had mandatory water restrictions during the state’s drought from 2009 to 2011.

san diego table

The mandatory water restrictions in San Diego are already established and automated operating functions within the ETwater cloud-based irrigation system, including: watering schedules of three days a week with a maximum of seven minutes watering per station during the cooler weather months; weather-based timed control of sprinklers; restricting of watering during the day; and, rain forecasting that suspends irrigation if rain predicted. It was automated functionality integral to expediting this successful conversion of irrigation in North County.


More than one-half of the water used by San Diego County’s population is for landscape irrigation. The urban landscape is an important part of design and fabric of the community. But as California struggles with a protracted drought, the worst in decades the lack of sustainability planning that permits excessive outdoor watering is no longer practical or affordable.

Conservation and Drought Response with ETwater


ETwater is a recognized leader with over 14 years’ experience in smart irrigation water management, and customers nationally ranging from municipalities, commercial facilities, and campuses, to large residential communities.

ETwater manufactured the first product to successfully complete the Irrigation Industry Association’s rigorous “Smart Water Application Technology” (SWAT) protocol testing. All ETwater products are Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) WaterSense® and Intertek certified, and the company has received recognition and awards for innovation from the Wall Street Journal, Red Herring and the U.S. Commerce Department.

Optimized Irrigation Plan Can Provide Increased Annual Savings

Considering the water rate increases of 27% the savings for San Diego really add up. The combination of reduced water use while rates move up sharply created substantial savings that can be invested back into other critical areas in San Diego. We can all agree rates will continue to move up. We have choices, and San Diego made the choice to take action in the form of active management of their water. Hopefully this trend continues in San Diego and other cities across the country.

Want to get a sample of ETwater’s reporting capabilities and get insight into how the ETscore irrigation efficiency rating is calculated? Complete the form below to download your sample.


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