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Planning and Development - Division of Water Resources

Water Resources Did You Know?

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Click here to view the 2012 Drought Presentation

Click below to view the 2012 Homeowners Association Workshop Presentations

Ideas For Kids To Help With Conserving Water At Home

Student's Guide to Conservation and Environmental Science

World's Water Budget:
Over 70% of our Earth's surface is covered by water. Although water is seemingly abundant, the real issue is the amount of fresh water available.

  • 97.5% of all water on Earth is salt water, leaving only 2.5% as fresh water.
  • Nearly 70% of that fresh water is frozen in the icecaps of Antarctica and Greenland; most of the remainder is present as soil moisture, or lies in deep underground aquifers as groundwater not accessible to human use.
  • < 1% of the world's fresh water (~0.007% of all water on earth) is accessible for direct human uses. This is the water found in lakes, rivers, reservoirs and those underground sources that are shallow enough to be tapped at an affordable cost. Only this amount is regularly renewed by rain and snowfall, and is therefore available on a sustainable basis.


How Much Water Does Your Household Use?

Water Use Calculator

  •      •    An in-depth tool to show you how much water you use in each water using activity in 
               your home.

imagesFamily Water Audit

    •   A fun and easy way to see how water-wise you are!

Video: The Groundwater Story

groundwater-groundhogsWatch this musical animation while learning about the importance of groundwater to living things -- including people -- and how to help protect this hidden resource. The Groundwater Story is designed for kids and adults who like watching funny cartoons while learning.


What is Groundwater?

Groundwater is one segment of the natural system known as the hydrologic cycle. This complex cycle consists of the many pathways a droplet of water may take on its journey between the land, sea, and atmosphere.

The Hydrologic (or Water) Cycle

hydrocylWater is moved through the hydrologic cycle by the processes of precipitation, evaporation, plant transpiration, infiltration and runoff. Some of the water that falls to the earth as rain may run off the land surface and enter into lakes, streams, and the oceans. Some of it may evaporate immediately from the land surface or enter the soil where it may be absorbed and transpired back to the atmosphere by plants.

A fraction of the water that falls upon the land surface infiltrates into the soil and percolates downward through the open pore spaces between the soil and rock particles. Eventually this water reaches the water table below which is a saturated zone where all the pore spaces are filled with water. The water in this zone is called groundwater. A soil or rock formation that is capable of storing, transmitting, and yielding groundwater to wells is called an aquifer. Aquifers serve as underground reservoirs from which quantities of groundwater can be withdrawn.

Groundwater is stored in aquifers.


The groundwater in an aquifer is in a constant state of change. The level of the water table and the amount of water present continuously fluctuate with the amount of water entering and leaving the aquifer. Water that enters and replenishes the aquifer is called recharge. Water that leaves the aquifer is called discharge. The amount and rate of recharge and discharge are governed by a variety of natural factors related to soil type, stream flow, climate, geology, topography, and vegetation as well as a number of man-made factors such as groundwater pumping, urbanization, and land use.


21 Ways to Save Water

Are you using more water than you thought? Take a look at your bill. You would be surprised at how much water you are using and money you can save by following these water saving tips….

  1. Never pour water down the drain when there may be another use for it such as watering a plant or garden, or for cleaning around your home.
  2. Verify that your home is leak free. Many homes have hidden water leaks. Read your water meter before and after a two-hour period when no water is being used. If the meter does not read exactly the same, there is possible leak.
  3. Repair dripping faucets by replacing washers. If your faucet is dripping at a rate of one drop per second, you can expect to waste 2,700 gallons per year.
  4. Retrofit all household faucets by installing aerators with flow restrictors to slow the flow of water.
  5. Check for toilet tank leaks by adding food coloring to the tank. If the toilet is leaking, color will appear in the toilet bowl within 30 minutes. Check the toilet for a worn out flapper. Most replacement parts are inexpensive, readily available and easily installed. (Flush as soon as test is done, since food coloring may stain tank.)
  6. If the toilet handle frequently sticks in the flush position letting water run constantly, replace or adjust it.
  7. Install a toilet dam or displacement device such as a bag or bottle to cut down on the amount of water needed for each flush. Be sure installation does not interfere with the operating parts. When purchasing new or replacement toilets, consider low-volume units that use less than half the water of older models.
  8. Take shorter showers by two minutes and save an hour of running water per month. Replace your showerhead with an ultra-low-flow version.
  9. Place a bucket in the shower to catch excess water and use this to water plants. The same technique can be used when washing dishes or vegetables in the sink.
  10. Operate automatic dishwashers and clothes washers only when they are fully loaded. Set the water level for the size of load you are using.
  11. When washing dishes by hand, fill one sink or basin with soapy water. Quickly rinse under a slow-moving stream from the faucet.
  12. Store drinking water in the refrigerator. Don’t let the tap run while you are waiting for cool water to flow.
  13. Do not use running water to thaw meat or other frozen foods. Defrost food overnight in the refrigerator or use the defrost setting on your microwave.
  14. Kitchen sink disposals require lots of water to operate properly. Start a vegetable compost pile as an alternate method of disposing of food waste, instead of using a garbage disposal.
  15. Consider installing an instant water heater on your kitchen sink so you don’t have to let the water run while it heats up.
  16. Don’t let water run while shaving or washing your face. Brush your teeth first while waiting for water to get hot, then wash or shave after filling the basin.
  17. Do not allow a hose to run as you wash your car. Use a self-closing hose nozzle.
  18. Irrigate early in the morning or late at night to avoid evaporation.
  19. Make sure that your sprinkler system is in good repair, that there are no leaks, and that the heads are properly adjusted to eliminate any overspray on paved areas or buildings.
  20. If you have an automated sprinkler system, make sure the controller is properly set to achieve minimum watering levels.
  21. Avoid flushing the toilet unnecessarily. Dispose of tissues and other similar waste in the trash rather than the toilet.

Try to do one thing each day that will result in saving water. Don’t worry if the savings are minimal.
Every drop counts. You can make a difference! 

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