3 tips to save water at Tahoe during drought, high demand

Staff Report

SOUTH LAKE TAHOE, Calif. — With drought conditions and a pair of record-setting heat waves already in the rearview mirror, saving water is key during high demand.

In the face of record temperatures and the worst drought in decades, the South Tahoe Public Utilities District is offering three tips to save water as demand increases.

“We see water demand double, and at times triple, during summer months, mainly due to landscape irrigation,” said Shelly Thomsen, manager of public affairs and conservation at STPUD. “Watering the right day, and the right way, can make a big difference.”

Some basic, easy tips to immediately follow are turning off water while brushing your teeth, taking shorter showers and only running the dishwasher when it’s full.

Tip 1: Water the right day, and the right way

STPUD has designated watering days for its residents. Even numbered street addresses should water Monday, Wednesday, Friday while odd numbered street addresses water Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday.

Thomsen recommends watering in the early mornings or at night to reduce water loss from evaporation.

Tip 2: Track water use and receive leak alerts

STPUD offers a water use tracker that can be viewed online after logging in at

Thomsen said when customers log into the district’s WaterSmart program they can view water use, apply for a toilet, clothes washer or turf removal rebate, or sign up for a free water wise house call.

“It also automatically notifies you if you have a leak, so you don’t need to worry if you’re away for a long weekend,” Thomsen said.

Tip 3: Plant Tahoe-friendly landscaping

Grass is the thirstiest landscape option. You can get paid to replace your grass with Tahoe friendly landscaping by applying for South Tahoe Public Utility District’s turf buy-back program. Another easy way to save water is to apply mulch around plants to help prevent evaporation.

“A great way to keep your yard beautiful and save water is by signing up for a free water wise landscape consultation,” said Thomsen. “We come out and inspect your sprinkler system and provide tips and tricks on how to beautify your yard, plant Tahoe friendly plants, and save water.”

To learn more or sign up visit or call 530-544-6474 and use extension 6363.

Support Local Journalism

Support Local Journalism

Readers around the Lake Tahoe Basin and beyond make the Tahoe Tribune's work possible. Your financial contribution supports our efforts to deliver quality, locally relevant journalism.

Now more than ever, your support is critical to help us keep our community informed about the evolving coronavirus pandemic and the impact it is having locally. Every contribution, however large or small, will make a difference.

Your donation will help us continue to cover COVID-19 and our other vital local news.