Pasadena Works to Build Drought Resilience

Recent rainfall in December has provided temporary relief to local water supply; nevertheless, 99% of California is still in a drought, with 68% of the state experiencing severe drought conditions. In December 2021, Pasadena received nine inches of rainfall, which is six inches more than typical December conditions. However, with dry conditions in January 2022, and the small amount of rainfall experienced in previous seasons (less than six inches total from November 2020 through November 2021), the City of Pasadena (“City”) and State of California may need to move into extreme drought conditions. It is important for the Pasadena community to prepare, and build resilience to a drought that could worsen in the months to come.

Pasadena Water and Power (“PWP”) is actively improving drought resiliency by addressing aging water infrastructure. Projects include building new reservoirs and wells, in addition to a treatment plant to enhance local water supply. These actions will help prepare Pasadena for extended periods of drought.  Furthermore, PWP is developing a new Water is Climate campaign, which will launch in the spring. The campaign will build awareness about the statewide drought, explore short-term and long-term solutions, explain the connection between water and climate change, as well as focus on how to protect and enhance our local watershed and supply.

PWP actively supports the community in building drought resilience through robust programs and resources for residents and businesses. PWP encourages residential and commercial customers to take proactive steps by preparing landscapes for hotter and drier weather, and recommends optimizing water use in the homes and businesses. PWP also has programs, rebates and resources to help customers implement water-conscious initiatives; some programs include free irrigation system check-ups, rebates for retrofitting your landscape, direct install programs, and much more. Additionally, PWP has an interactive online landscape guide to help customers redesign their landscape; visit it at

Some simple ways customers can begin building drought resilience and improving their water footprint are:

  • Enhance soil health and water retention using mulch.
  • Replace your landscape with drought-tolerant and California native plants, which use less water and are more resilient to heat and drought.
  • Optimize your irrigation system by retrofitting to a drip irrigation system.
  • Repair all leaks and adjust sprinkler spray to avoid water waste.
  • Water only one day a week during the winter season (November through March). Turn off your irrigation system during and within 48-72 hours after periods of rain.
  • Check the soil moisture around your plants. By digging down a few inches you can see if the soil is still holding moisture.
  • Ensure all water fixtures and appliances in your home or business are high efficiency.

PWP also offers instructional videos and recorded workshops online. To learn more about PWP programs, rebates, initiatives and water conservation recommendations, visit