As stewards of our local water resource, we have a responsibility to protect water and use it wisely. San Bernardino is recovering from several years of dry conditions which made a significant impact to our local water supplies. While San Bernardino residents have already done a great job learning to use water more efficiently, to ensure sustainable water supplies for the future, we must continue our water-saving efforts by embracing conservation as a way of life.
Water Conservation Tips
The good news is water conservation doesn’t have to mean sacrifice! Even small adjustments can make a big difference in your water use. It is our goal to help you on your way to water efficiency.
Water Conservation Rebate Programs
San Bernardino Municipal Water Department (SBMWD) is proud to offer one of our region’s most robust water conservation rebate programs. Each residential customer is eligible for up to $2,000 in indoor and outdoor water conservation rebates. We encourage you to apply for your rebate today!
View the Water Conservation Rebates page
Water Use Efficiency Standards
An important component of promoting long-term conservation is reducing outdoor water waste. In an effort to protect local water supplies and encourage efficient water use, outdoor water use restrictions remain in effect.
View the Water Use Efficiency Standards page
California’s largest water supplier, the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California, recently approved the implementation of unprecedented water use restrictions that limit customer irrigation to one day per week. These actions do not apply to customers of the San Bernardino Municipal Water Department.
At this time, SBMWD continues to be in Stage IIA of its Water Shortage Contingency Plan, where customers may continue to water outdoors for up to three days per week and fifteen minutes per station per day on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays before 8:00 a.m. and after 6:00 p.m.
SBMWD provides water conservation programs and resources to promote water use efficiency and encourages customers to take daily steps to save our local water supplies.
January 7, 2020 - Recent news media reports have provided inaccurate information concerning individual water use standards set by two important pieces of California legislation, Senate Bill 606 (Hertzberg) and Assembly Bill 1668 (Friedman). The following are the facts regarding this water conservation legislation which was signed into effect in May 2018.
- Water agencies are required to calculate an annual water efficiency standard for their entire service area based on indoor residential water use, outdoor residential 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 water supplier’s 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 water efficiency 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. Water suppliers are responsible for meeting state-mandated efficiency targets.
The State Water Resource Control Board is currently working with urban water suppliers to implement the new statewide water efficiency standards which will be adopted by June 30, 2022. Over time, water efficiency standards will become more robust, decreasing daily water use to 50 gallons per person per day in January of 2030. Retail water suppliers, such as SBMWD, will be held to these standards, however, determining how compliance with the mandates is calculated is the responsibility of water suppliers.
Efficient water use is the most cost-effective and immediate way to achieve long-term conservation goals. As such, SBMWD is committed to sharing information, programs, and incentives to encourage and support water use efficiency for our customers. For more information on water use efficiency programs available to customers, please view SBMWD Water Conservation Rebates.
For more information about SB 606 and AB 1668 please visit the State Water Resources Control Board website.
In May 2015, the State Water Resources Control Board (SWRCB) adopted an emergency drought regulation requiring a 25% reduction in potable water use across the state. SWRCB’s emergency regulation outlined percentage reduction tiers (conservation standards) in gross water production for each urban water supplier to achieve the 25% reduction. Initially, the Department’s conservation standard was set at 28%, but as SWRCB continued to refine the emergency regulation, the Department’s standard was reduced multiple times and is now set at 15% which reflects the Department's water supply management goals.