What is this indicator?

This indicator measures the number of gallons of water used per person per day (GPCD) in Santa Monica by dividing the total gallons of citywide water use by the number of residents and days per year.

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 reduce and manage its water demands.

With an adopted goal of water self-sufficiency achieved by eliminating reliance on Metropolitan Water District of Southern California (MWD) supply by 2023, the City of Santa Monica developed a Sustainable Water Master Plan focused on reducing water demand and enhancing local water supply production capabilities.

With the severe droughts we face in Santa Monica, residents must be a part of the solution by participating in citywide efforts to lower water consumption. Reducing per capita water use will also help the city wean itself off of imported water supplies and move toward self-sufficiency by 2023, as directed by the Santa Monica Sustainable Water Master Plan.

How are we doing?

As of December 2018, the measured water usage for Santa Monica residents averaged 110 GPCD. This is a significant improvement over 2010 usage of 130 GPCD. The majority (66%) of the City’s water use occurs within the residential sector.
As of 2018, we were not on track to meet the original water conservation goal of water self-sufficiency by 2020 outlined in the 2014 Sustainable Water Master Plan. In the updated 2019 Sustainable Water Master Plan, the City adopted a new target of water self-sufficiency by 2023. 
Current initiatives to curb water use in response to the drought include the Water Supply Shortage Response Plan (updated and re-adopted by City Council in January 2015) and the Water Conservation Campaign , launched in May 2015 to achieve water-savings of 20% from 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.
As part of the Water Supply Shortage Response Plan, Water Use Allowances were implemented for all of the City’s water customers. The Water Use Allowance is a 20% reduction in water use from 2013 levels for the same billing period and started appearing on utility invoices in June 2015.
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 Sustainable Landscape 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 .