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FOR Logo Friends of the River
 The voice of California's rivers

Drought Action Pledge


California’s severe drought reminds us how precious and limited water is.  We can help by doing our part to use it wisely.  While there is a lot of talk about building new dams, they cost billions of dollars and take a decade or more to build.  So, new dams won’t help us with the drought, but they will do more harm to the rivers we love and we already have more than 1,400 of major dams in the state. 

Water conservation and efficiency is cheap or even free.  Friends of the River is working to advance these solutions to meet our water needs without doing more harm to rivers.  You can help by taking this drought pledge as a first step.


Rivers are the lifeblood of California,  providing more than 60 percent of our clean water.

  • They provide recreational opportunities to millions of Californians every year.
  • They provide homes for countless species of plants and wildlife.
  • Their beauty is an important part of California’s natural heritage, just like our majestic mountains and beaches.

Our rivers need our help.  Due to development, dams and water diversions, we have lost:

  • 90% of the salmon population in California.
  • Millions of songbirds and put many riverside plants and animals on the endangered species list.
  • Thousands of beautiful fishing spots.
  • Hundreds of world-class whitewater stretches for  boating, camping, hiking and kayaking.



Top 10 Ways to Cut Your Water Use by 20%

  1. Turn off tap when brushing teeth - saves 2,400 gallons a year. (about 1.8%)*
  2. Collect tap water while waiting for hotter/colder water - saves 3,650 gallons a year. (2.7%)
  3. If it’s yellow...let it mellow! Flush only when needed - saves 6,570 gallons a year. (4.5%)
  4. Fix your leaky faucets. Fixing one small leak - saves about 7,300 gallons a year. (5.5%)
  5. Only run your dishwasher/laundry machine when full  - saves 12,000 gallons a year. (9%)
  6. Replace your current showerhead with a low-flow model - saves 12,775 gallons a year. (9.7%)
  7. Cover your pool when not in use  - saves 13,000 gallons a year. (9.8%)
  8. Install a low flow toilet; new ones use 1.6 vs 6 gallons a flush - saves 18,250 gallons a year. (13.8%)
  9. Swapping a vegie main dish for beef or chicken 1 time a week - saves 20,800 gallons year. (15.8%)
  10. Got lawn? Replace with drought-tolerant ground covers & plants  - saves over 30,000 gallons a year.  (22.7%)

Learn more at:

* The average household uses 132,130 gallons a year.




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