What is this indicator?

This indicator measures the total amount of water used by Santa Monica residents, businesses, and visitors measured in millions of gallons per day (MGD).

Why is this important?

The City of Santa Monica supplies imported and local water to approximately 92,000 residents covering an area of approximately 8 square miles. Looking to its future, the City hopes to eliminate its dependence on imported water by addressing the challenge of existing groundwater quality, identifying new sources of local water supply, and more effectively reducing and managing water demands.
The adopted 2020 goal of water self-sufficiency would eliminate reliance on Metropolitan Water District of Southern California (MWD) supply. In an effort to reach that goal, the City of Santa Monica developed a Sustainable Water Master Plan focused on reducing water demand and enhancing local water supply production capabilities.

How are we doing?

Despite increases in development and a growing daytime population, Santa Monica has been relatively successful at managing citywide water demand. As of December 2018, total citywide water use was 10.2 MGD. While the City has already met the 2020 target of 10.3 MGD, additional efforts are needed to achieve water self-sufficiency. The majority (66%) of the City’s water use occurs within the residential sector. Reducing citywide water use through educational campaigns and rebates for high-efficiency water fixtures and lawn removal are part of Santa Monica’s citywide conservation efforts.

Current initiatives to curb water use include the Water Shortage Response Plan (updated and re-adopted by City Council in January 2015) and the Water Conservation Campaign, launched in May 2015, to reduce water usage by 20% below 2013 levels by December 2016. Reducing water use will lessen the impacts of the drought on local groundwater and imported water supplies while improving local, regional and state-wide water sustainability.

The most popular rebate, the Sustainable Landscape Rebate, pays $3.50 for each square foot of lawn that is removed and replaced with sustainable landscaping. In addition, customers may choose to receive a 2-hour consultation with expert landscape designers for a small fee.

How can I help?

  • Replace older flush and flow fixtures with high-efficiency devices. Toilet rebates are available and the City’s Office of Sustainability and the Environment provides free faucet aerators and shower heads.
  • Replace your lawn and parkways with drought-tolerant landscaping. Sign up for a Landscape Design Consultation and apply for a Cash for Grass rebate.
  • Use drip irrigation or a weather-based irrigation controllers to adjust irrigation based on weather conditions. Rebates are available.
  • Sign up for a free Water Use Consultation for your home or business.
  • Find more water-saving tips at smgov.net/water.