Myths of California Water: Virtual Tour


California’s water system would work well if it were not for wasteful homeowners in Southern California.


The image of Southern Californians as water villains is based on misperception of actual water use practices across the state. Average water use per person in the South Coast is, in fact, among the lowest in California.

Topics Map

Los Angeles Metropolitan Water District Conservation Poster. Source: MWD
Regional Per Capita Water Use in California Zoom in
Regional Per Capita Water Use in California Zoom out
Heritage Park Xeriscaping

Further Reading

  • Dziegielewski B. and D. Baumann. 1992. Tapping Alternatives: The benefits of managing urban water demands. Environment Vol. 34 Issue 9 pp 6-13
  • Hanak, E., J. Lund, A. Dinar, B. Gray, R. Howitt, J. Mount, P. Moyle, Barton “Buzz” Thompson (2010), “Myths of California Water – Implications and Reality,” West-Northwest Journal of Environmental Law and Policy, Vol. 16, No. 1, Winter 2010.
  • Hanak, E and M. Davis. 2006. Lawns and Water Demand in California. Public Policy Institute of California:
  • Hildebrand M, Gaur S, and Salt KJ. 2009. Water conservation made legal: Water budgets and California law. Journal of American Water Works Association Vol 101 Issue 4
  • Maddaus ML, Maddaus WO, Torre M, and Harris R. 2008. Innovative water conservation supports sustainable housing development. Journal of American Water Works Association Vol 100 Issue 5
  • Medellin-Azuara et al. 2008. Adaptability and adaptations of California’s water supply system to dry climate warming. Climatic Change Vol 87
  • Metropolitan Water District of Southern California website: