Water is one of the most precious resources that humans need to sustain life. Only 2.5% of all water sources is freshwater but only less than 1% is accessible to us. With the climate changing and the human population growing, that percentage will only decrease as water supply cannot keep up with our demand. 


As global temperature increase, evaporation increases and results in more extreme droughts and severely impacts freshwater supplies. The US is currently in one of the most severe, multi-state, multi-year droughts in decades. 



Rising temperatures are melting ice and snow in mountain regions at an unprecedented rate. They are important sources of surface freshwater worldwide, and some are in danger of disappearing within the 21st century. Once they have melted away, they can't be restored. Areas that previously depended on ice and snow cover for freshwater will then have to seek other sources.

The relationship between climate change and water does not end here. Similar to carbon footprint, we can be mindful of our water footprint by looking at how much water we consume.

Water is used to create all the goods and services that we consume and use - also known as virtual water. It refers to the hidden flow of water if commodities are traded from one place to another. Of all the freshwater used, 69% is for agricultural use, 19% is for industrial use, and the remaining 12% is for domestic use or municipalities (such as for showering, drinking, washing).


Conserving water, food and other resources is an important step towards reducing overall energy and water use, because most everything that is made, transported and thrown away requires the use of fuel and water.


Here are some key examples:


The systems used to treat and move public water supplies require large amounts of energy, produced mainly by burning fossil fuels. So, when we use water we also use energy and contribute to climate change. Hence, it is important to conserve our daily water usage.


One example is the bottled water industry which consumes a lot of water and is a huge contributor to greenhouse gas emissions, because it takes fuel and water to make plastic bottles and ship them around the world. This is unnecessary when you consider that bottled water is often just filtered tap water.



Imagine boiling a bowl of pasta - you only require 2 liters of water to boil the pasta right? Wrong. The pasta you eat contains about 200 liters of virtual water. The water embodied in the food we eat includes all the water used for irrigation, livestock watering, feeding, and cleaning, as well as aquaculture. As a result, producing one of pound is typically more water intensive that producing one pound of vegetables/ fruits.


Calculate your water footprint at www.watercalculator.orgThe calculator determines your indoor, outdoor, and virtual water consumption and provides detailed tips on how you can reduce your water consumption. Here are some of the tips:



  • Shower instead of taking baths, and keep your shower time down to a single song (around 4 minutes).

  • Install low-flow faucets, showerheads and toilets; fix any leaks.

  • Use the washing machine on a full load.


  • Plant native plant species as they are not as water intensive as non-native plants.

  • Water plants during early morning or late evening when it is not windy so water will not be lost to evaporation.

  • Set up sprinklers so it does not water the sidewalk or driveway; turn them off when rain is expected.


  • Being mindful of everything we purchase - buy only things you need and if possible, buy local products as it reduces the water footprint in terms of transporting the products.

  • Opting for a vegan or vegetarian diet can greatly reduce your water footprint as meat production requires a lot of water. You can start with something easy, such as doing meatless Mondays and gradually cutting down on your consumption of meat.

  • Using a reusable water bottle instead of buying single-use bottled water. It takes 3 times the amount of water to make one plastic bottle than the amount of water that it contains.


The National City Chamber of Commerce partners with many sustainability-oriented businesses and organizations. Here are some additional resources for you to save water:


Their mission is to provide its current and future customers with a safe and reliable water supply through the use of the

best available technology, sound management practices, public participation, and a balanced approach to human

and environmental needs. Sweetwater Authority provides safe, reliable water service (since 1977) to approximately

190,000 people in a 32 square-mile service area that includes National City, Bonita, and the western and central portions

of Chula Vista, CA. 


Call the Water Efficiency Helpline at (619) 409-6779 or email waterefficiency@sweetwater.org for further enquiries or to request a history report of your water usage along with a free water survey of your property.


Website: www.sweetwater.org

Customer Service: (619) 420-1413 - Emergency calls accepted after 5pm and on weekends


Monday to Thursday - 7:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. 
Friday - 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. 

Location: 505 Garrett Avenue, Chula Vista, 91910 (Sweetwater Authority's Administrative Office)
Offers 24-hour drop-off payment box


The Otay Water District is a water, recycled water, and sewer service provider for more than 223,000 customers residing

within the communities of Otay Mesa, Chula Vista, Jamul, Spring Valley, Rancho San Diego, and unincorporated areas

in southeastern San Diego County. The District’s facilities deliver recycled water to customers through a dedicated

distribution system, where it is used to irrigate golf courses, playing fields, public parks, roadside landscapes, and open

space in Eastern Chula Vista. Otay also owns and operates a wastewater collection system providing public sewer service

to homes and businesses within the Jamacha drainage basin. The District is proud to be at the forefront of innovation to

provide safe and reliable water in an effective and efficient manner.


For tips and resources for indoor and outdoor water-use efficiency, visit otaywater.gov or call Water Conservation Helpline(619) 670-2222 ext. 4.


Website: www.otaywater.gov

General Line: (619) 670-2222

Water Emergencies Line (24 hours): (619) 670-2207

Hours: Monday to Friday - 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Closed Federal & State Holidays

Location: 2554 Sweetwater Springs Boulevard, Spring Valley, CA 91978 (Otay Water District Office)


The San Diego County Water Authority sustains a $220 billion regional economy and the quality of life for 3.3 million

residents through a multi-decade water supply diversification plan, major infrastructure investments and forward-thinking

policies that promote fiscal and environmental responsibility. A public agency created in 1944, the Water Authority

delivers a safe and reliable wholesale water supply at an affordable cost to 24 retail water agencies, including cities,

special districts and a military base. 


For more information, go to www.watersmartsd.org.


Website: www.sdcwa.org

General Line: (858) 522-6600 - Please contact your local water agencies for residential or commercial emergencies.


Monday to Thursday - 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. 

Every other Friday - 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Closed Federal & State Holidays

Location: 4677 Overland Avenue, San Diego, CA 92123 (SDCWA Kearny Mesa Headquarters)

For other office locations, click here.


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carbon footprint of your business and helping to make a positive impact on the environment. Bottled water companies

promote an image of health and wellness, yet the life cycle of a bottle seems anything but healthy for both the workplace

and the world we live in. These companies add millions of pollutants to our air during the manufacturing and transportation



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Website: www.purewatertech.com


Website: www.purewatertechsandiego.com

Phone: (619) 564-850

Email Lisa Joynerlisaj@pwtsd.com

Hours: Monday to Friday - 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. 
Location: 4683 Mission Gorge Pl, San Diego, CA 92120


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