Ten months ago, Governor Gavin Newsom called on Californians to voluntarily reduce water usage by 15 percent, but the state still remains far from that goal.
On Tuesday, California's Water Resources Control Board voted unanimously to adopt emergency water conservation regulations.
Those regulations include a statewide ban on the watering of non-functional turf in the commercial, industrial, and institutional sectors, as well as regulations requiring local agencies to implement water use restrictions.
There are many things we can do as a community to cut back on water use but first, we have to identify the problem areas.
Shane Taylor, the Utilities Manager for Arroyo Grande, says that saving water starts with your lawn.
"The variable is watering and that’s where the highest use is, so if people need to reduce their water use, they need to start on the outside," Taylor explained.
In San Luis Obispo, Utilities Director Aaron Floyd says the main source of waste comes from leaks.
"We try to watch out for those anomalies in residence water bills and notify the residence if that happens," Floyd said.
Floyd says that if people need help identifying a leak, utility employees will come out to your residence to help locate the issue.
Running toilets, leaking service lines, and irrigation leaks are all massive water guzzlers. Nipping them in the bud could save 27 to 90 gallons of water a day.
The State of California is struggling to suppress its water use but on the county front, things are looking better.
"The community of San Luis Obispo is currently using less overall water than we were in the 1980s," Floyd said.
Factoring in the increase in population, the city considers that’s a win, but it's not the end and the community is taking note.
"I definitely think it's concerning. Like a lot of environmental issues, I think it's probably pretty prevalent in a lot of people's minds right now," said Emma Wilkins, a San Luis Obispo resident.
Every drop counts and it's never too late to implement some of these techniques. It could be as easy as taking a shower instead of a bath, making that shower 5 minutes or less, fixing all of your leaks, turning the water off when brushing your teeth or shaving, and washing only full loads of clothes and dishes.
If you really want to go the extra mile, there are always ways to make your appliances more water-efficient. That could include purchasing water-saving toilets, washing machines or aerators.