California Water Restrictions: Rain Bird Position Statement

Sun, 07/10/2022 - 09:40

Rain Bird, founded in California in 1933, has a history of developing innovative irrigation technology through seven historical California droughts, and understands the importance of using precious water resources as intelligently as possible.

This expertise is especially important now, when all 58 California counties are under a drought emergency proclamation [1] and with new statewide water use restrictions[2] implemented.


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We know:

Conserving water and maintaining sustainable landscapes, agriculture and recreation spaces are not mutually exclusive.

Healthy landscapes provide oxygen, absorb carbon dioxide, control erosion, reduce noise pollution, lower energy bills and increase property values.

Alternatively, replacing plant life with concentrations of hardscape, pavement, buildings and other hard surfaces, creates urban heat islands that increase ground temperatures, perpetuate drought cycles and contribute to climate change, thereby increasing energy costs, air pollution levels and heat-related illness and mortality [3].


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Rain Bird encourages all Californians to adopt these four easy-to-implement solutions that will reduce water use while maintaining life-saving landscapes:

1. Water Early

Watering in the morning, when it’s cool, reduces evaporation and wind drift and allows the soil to absorb and retain moisture.

2. Use “Cycle and Soak” to Avoid Run-Off

Some California jurisdictions are mandating limited watering days. Watering less frequently can promote deep root growth, which enables plants to withstand periods without water. However, watering for too long in one period can cause wasteful run-off. Instead, use “cycle and soak” scheduling to set up multiple irrigation cycles, followed by a “soak” period to provide sufficient water to plants without causing run-off. Some new irrigation controllers have “cycle and soak” scheduling shortcuts.

3. Monitor your Water Bill and Check for Leaks

If your water bill seems high, or has increased without an obvious reason, check your irrigation system for leaks, and clean, fix or replace any equipment that is not working. If need be, engage a professional irrigation contractor to help you find and repair leaks [4].

4. Upgrade Your System to More Efficient Equipment

Studies have shown that installing and using technologically efficient systems conserves more water than restricting consumer use [5]. You may be eligible for rebates to support these upgrades. Here are the easiest ways to make your existing irrigation system more efficient:

Weather-Based Controllers

Weather-based controllers can save an average home nearly 7,600 gallons of water annually[6] by using local weather data and site conditions to adjust irrigation to prevent over-watering.

Pressure Regulating Stems (PRS)

For every 10 psi in reduced water pressure, there is a 5% increase in water savings for sprays and a 7% increase in water savings for rotors [7]. California has mandated all new sprays sold in the state have PRS technology because of the proven efficiency increase. You can upgrade your existing sprays using this now-mandated technology[8].

Rotary Nozzles for Sprays

Rotary nozzles retrofitted into existing spray bodies can yield up to 30% in water savings compared to standard spray nozzles. Rotary nozzles apply water more slowly and accurately than standard spray nozzles, reducing run-off and erosion and allowing the soil time to absorb more water.

Drip Irrigation and Root Watering Systems

Low volume irrigation products, like dripline and point-source emitters, maintain healthy landscapes with over 90% efficiency by delivering water at or near each plant’s root zone. The slow, targeted application of water reduces run-off and evaporation. Convert your planter beds and trees from sprays to drip irrigation.


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The effects of drought go beyond California

California is the world’s fifth largest supplier of food and agriculture [9], including most of the nation’s fresh fruit and vegetables. California is also the nation’s leading dairy state and the leading producer of dairy products [10].

So what can we do to conserve water? Rain Bird will do its part by continuing to develop products, services, educational tools and other initiatives that will help us make responsible, informed choices so we can usher in a new era of water efficiency and sustainable water use in California and around the world.

Please join Rain Bird in supporting a sustainable water future for California. And let us know what you’re doing and how you’re doing it by tagging us on social media at @Rainbirdcorp or @Rainbird__home and using the hashtag #WaterUDoing.



[2] Voluntary water saving efforts requested in 2021 resulted in only in 3.7% savings through March 2022 compared to a 2020 baseline. In May 2022, California Governor Gavin Newsom enabled the State Water Resources Control Board the ability to adopt emergency regulations, which went into effect on June 6th.

[4] Find a licensed contractor near you through the California Landscape Contractors Association .

[5] “Improving water-efficient irrigation: Prospects and difficulties of innovative practices” Agricultural Water Management

[6] Environmental Protection Agency “ Weather-Based Irrigation Controllers

[7] Study by University of Arizona’s Department of Soil, Water and Environmental Science at the Karsten Turf Research Facility.

[8] California already requires new spray bodies sold in the state to contain pressure regulating stems.

[9] California Department of Food and Agriculture

[10] The California Legislature’s Nonpartisan Fiscal and Policy Advisor