Jump to main content or area navigation.

Drought & WaterSense

It is always important to try to use water more efficiently. But there are times when it becomes even more important, such as when drought occurs. Drought happens somewhere in the U.S. every year and, in September 2012, 65 percent of the country was in drought. Drought is sometimes called the slow motion natural disaster. Economic losses due to drought in 2012 were in the billions and many communities struggled to provide important water services.

Drought Factsheet
The Drought Monitor provides weekly updates of the status of drought in the U.S.

During a drought, your water utility may ask you to limit your outdoor watering or impose other restrictions. But all members of a community can step up their savings to ensure that water is available to meet critical needs. Here are some tips to keep in mind.

drought factsheet
(1 pg, 819K, About PDF)
  • Follow the rules
    Your water utility must ensure water is available to fight fires and meet other critical needs, so help your community by following the rules. They will be lifted when water shortages end.
  • Look for leaks
    The last thing you want to do during a drought is waste water through leaks. Look for leaks indoors and out, and if you find them, fix them.
  • Consider an upgrade
    If you have been thinking about a bathroom makeover, a drought is a great time to get busy. You will help your utility with immediate savings and save yourself money on future bills. WaterSense labeled products are a great way to save!
  • Take a sprinkler break
    Outdoor water use can put a lot of stress on local water supplies. You can be water-smart by letting your grass grow longer and making other maintenance adjustments. Grass doesn’t need to be green year round—you can cut back on watering and the green will return when rains return. WaterSense has lots of water–saving tips for drought resilient landscapes. If you’re interested in some quick-fix tips for the summer months, see our When It’s Hot page.
  • Go the extra mile
    If you want to go above and beyond in water savings, think about reusing water. You can collect water in a bucket while waiting for the shower to warm up or when washing pots, and use it to water container plants or flower beds. Use your imagination to come up with creative ways to save water or see more WaterSense tips on our start saving page.

More Information on Drought

Top of page