Drought Response

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When in Drought message expands

As drought conditions intensified, the Water Authority expanded its When in Drought conservation campaign to encourage increased water-saving efforts “every day, every way.” The Board in May approved $1 million for expanded conservation and outreach by: funding the creation of a sophisticated smartphone app so users can report water waste across the region; increasing customer assistance by funding more indoor and outdoor water-use evaluations; creating a web-based, step-by-step guide for homeowners to convert to water-efficient landscaping; and training landscaping professionals on water-use efficiency. The funding also paid for the development of an aggressive multi-media advertising campaign focused on the summer months when water use is highest.

A key component of the When in Drought campaign involved securing community partners to help spread the message. Leading institutions and associations joined the cause, including San Diego Zoo Global, which updated signs throughout its two internationally known parks to reflect the need for enhanced water conservation. The zoo also provided conservation reminders for visitors during bus and tram tours, made social media posts encouraging WaterSmart lifestyles, and created a video about efforts to conserve water at its parks.

In addition, the Water Authority was joined by the local chapter of the Plumbing-Heating-Cooling Contractors Association to help residents and businesses save water and money during national Fix a Leak Week in March. The San Diego Brewers Guild promoted increased water conservation and the When in Drought campaign in its comprehensive Craft Beer Map & Guide, while Westfield North County added a When in Drought ad to its regular rotation of displays on one of the region’s most prominent freeway electronic billboards.

Numerous other partners also joined the cause, such as the San Diego Regional Airport Authority, the Food and Beverage Association of San Diego and many others. The team effort delivered the When in Drought campaign to hundreds of thousands of residents, an extraordinary contribution to the cause of water conservation.

Video: "When in Drought" TV ad

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*From a Water Authority countywide public opinion survey conducted in spring 2015.

Beverage coasters promoting the value of water were distributed throughout the region.