Water Efficiency & Conservation

CDCR embraces water conservation as a standard way of prison operations


In the area of water conservation, California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation has implemented a combination of water conservation and water efficiency projects. Water efficiency projects have included the installation of water efficiency fixtures, plumbing controls, as well as commercial grade equipment, much of these predating any requirements established by executive orders. One of the most significant water savings achieved by CDCR, for example, was through its installation of devices installed on inmate toilets starting in 2006 which regulate the amount of flushes in an hour’s cycle. Beyond their functional purpose, inmates have also used toilets for non-essential functions, such as destroying contraband. These devices on average resulted in water savings of 40% or more at prisons statewide. More recent water conservation efforts have included changes to operational procedures to further reduce water consumption as required through CDCR’s implementation of Drought Action Plans.  

Chapter 4: Water Efficiency & Conservation of CDCR’s Sustainability Roadmap

Our Goals

  • Continue to monitor and record water data from each institution on a monthly basis to use as a planning tool for future water efficiency and conservation projects.
  • Update CDCR’s Best Management Practices (BMPs) for water conservation, to ensure CDCR is on track to meet or exceed the State’s water conservation goals and mandates.
  • Continue to investigate opportunities for financing or grants for water efficiency projects through external business partnerships.

State Resources and Guidance Documents