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Water Efficiency

The Water Efficiency strategy of the City’s Climate Action Plan (CAP) aims to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by encouraging the community to conserve water in their homes and businesses. Clean water is an essential but limited resource that is expected to be strained even further through projected drought conditions in a changing climate. We can reduce GHGs and enhance our resilience by ensuring we all use water in the most efficient ways possible.

Implementation of water conservation measures is estimated to reduce GHG emissions by 712 metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent (MTCO2e) by 2020 and 795 MTCO2e by 2030. Explore the sections below to learn about the City’s planned and ongoing actions to achieve these reductions.


WE-1: Regularly Conduct Water Rate Studies and Implement Approved Water Rates

Reduce Water Use

The City’s Climate Action Plan (CAP) set a goal of reducing water consumption in Encinitas by approximately five gallons per capita per day (GPCD) by 2020 and another 2,400 acre-feet by 2030. This equates to a reduction of 258 million gallons by 2020 and 672 million gallons by 2030 from the CAP’s 2012 baseline. The energy used to treat and deliver water creates greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Reducing water use thereby reduces energy use.  

Encinitans will need to cut water use by an average of five gallons per day to meet the CAP’s water reduction goals. For context, standard shower heads use 2.5 gallons of water per minute and older toilets use as much as 6 gallons per flush. To reduce water use, Encinitans should consider decreasing outdoor irrigation, taking shorter showers, or investing in WaterSense products, like low-flow shower heads and toilets. 

The City’s two water districts—San Dieguito Water District (SDWD) and Olivenhain Municipal Water District (OMWD)—regularly conduct water rate studies and adjust rates based on the cost to supply water and the cost of operations. Both water districts also offer various public education programs to encourage water conservation efforts. For example, in 2021, SDWD partnered with other local water agencies, including OMWD, to provide community events such as residential and commercial landscape workshops. SDWD also facilitated youth educational outreach in collaboration with the San Diego County Office of Education. 

Last updated October 27, 2022

We measure water consumption in gallons per capita per day (GPCD). This measurement represents the average water use per person in the City of Encinitas per year. It allows individuals to have a sense of how much water they may be using and allows water utilities to prepare for future water needs.
GPCDGallons Per Capita Per Day


WE-1: Regularly Conduct Water Rate Studies and Implement Approved Water Rates

Encinitas Water Use

In 2021, average water use by San Dieguito Water District (SDWD) customers was 129 gallons per capita per day (GPCD), which is a GPCD reduction of 16% from 2012. For Olivenhain Municipal Water District (OMWD) customers, the average use was 128 GPCD, which is a GPCD reduction of 17% from 2012. Note that OMWD’s service district also encompasses areas outside of the City of Encinitas. Both districts have consistently met the 2020 goal established in the Climate Action Plan (CAP).

Our water use has varied over the years, but overall, Encinitas residents tend to use more than the average American. According to the United States Geological Survey (USGS), the national average water use was 82 GPCD in 2015. Encinitas’ higher water use could be a result of Southern California’s dry climate and the increased need for landscape irrigation. Outdoor irrigation accounts for over 50% of total residential water use in San Diego County. In 2021, SDWD offered two community WaterSmart Landscape workshops to educate customers about best landscape practices and changes.

Note: GPCD values include all water rate classes (environment, agriculture, and urban) for SDWD and OMWD.

On October 20, 2021, SDWD declared a Level 1 Water Shortage. The shortage was declared in response to California Governor Gavin Newsom’s October 19, 2021, Proclamation of a State Emergency. The governor’s proclamation included San Diego County and urged Californians to step up their water conservation efforts by voluntarily reducing water use by 15%. SDWD encouraged customers to take conservation actions such as minimizing inefficient landscape irrigation, halting washing paved surfaces, and only serving and refilling water to restaurant patrons upon request. As of June 2022, the Level 1 shortage is still in effect.

Last updated October 12, 2022

Water Consumption

How You Can Help

Save Water and $$$ with SoCal Water Smart Rebates
Plant Native and Drought Tolerant Landscaping
Reduce Outdoor Water Use with Weather-based Irrigation Controllers

Last updated June 28, 2022

Status of CAP Implementation