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Water Conservation

Learn what Sacramento International Airport is doing to be water-wise.

California is experiencing a severe drought. Sacramento International Airport (SMF) has voluntarily reduced its landscape watering by 50 percent  over 2013 . Read more about what the airport is doing to conserve water.

FAQs About Water Conservation

How is SMF reducing water consumption?

  • Low-flow toilets and automatic water fixtures are used in both terminals. Low-flow toilets save up to 2 gallons of water per flush. Some 97 percent of airport fixtures use low-flush technology.
  • Rental car companies at the airport use their own car wash and reclamation system. Reclaimed water is filtered and reused.
  • Water is served upon request at airport restaurants.
  • Airport Rescue and Fire Fighting reduced the flow used for apparatus testing and firefighter training by approximately 75 percent and have discontinued the practice of water cannon salutes.
  • Terminal B is landscaped with drought-tolerant, native plants.
  • The airport has launched an employee water conservation awareness effort.

How is SMF reducing landscape irrigation?

Landscape irrigation has been reduced 50 percent over 2013. In addition:

  • Watering is kept at the lowest level possible to keep landscaping viable while minimizing the risk of fire hazards.  
  • Watering is done in the early morning or late evening to reduce evaporation. 
  • Irrigation systems are routinely tested to identify and repair leaking components. 
  • Sprinklers are consistently evaluated to minimize or eliminate overspray and runoff
  • Tree groves and other landscaped areas are mulched to retain moisture.
  • Soil is aerated and fertilized and grass is mowed at a higher level to make water use more efficient
  • Grass is mown at 4 inches instead of 2-3 inches to retain moisture.

Where does SMF get its water?

  • Sacramento International Airport uses non-drinkable water from onsite wells for landscape irrigation.  This water cannot be used for agriculture because of its chemical components.
  • The City of Sacramento supplies drinking water for the airport, which comes from the Sacramento River
  • Sacramento International airport is on track to reduce its use of drinking water by 11 percent  over 2014.