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Statement on California's Drought Conditions

California is facing an unprecedented water crisis, with 98 percent of the state experiencing some level of drought and 44 percent experiencing extreme drought. Governor Brown’s recent mandate for Californians to cut their water use by 25 percent has brought a long-standing issue to the forefront of the state’s consciousness—perhaps even to the world’s. The conversation has finally turned from how we should use less water to how we must use less water.

The Association of California Water Agencies (ACWA) says more than 50 percent of all residential water use in the state of California takes place outdoors. Furthermore, the ACWA estimates that California residents tend to over-water outdoor plants and lawns by as much as 60 percent. These statistics indicate a tremendous opportunity to use this valuable resource more efficiently throughout California and the rest of the world.

Rain Bird’s water conservation legacy

California’s current situation strikes a very personal chord for me and my family. Back in the early 1930s, my parents, Clem and Mary LaFetra, established Rain Bird in the family barn in Glendora, California. Our very first product, the original impact sprinkler, was developed to more efficiently irrigate nearby citrus orchards. Today, Rain Bird is a global leader in efficient irrigation, but we have deep roots in California and remain headquartered just a few miles away from where it all began.

Decades before the term “water restrictions” became a part of common vernacular, we recognized the need to protect and efficiently use our world’s most precious resource. Our guiding philosophy, The Intelligent Use of Water™, continues to influence all aspects of our business. Rain Bird has spent the past eight decades developing the industry’s most comprehensive line of water-efficient irrigation solutions for everything from homes and schools to parks, sports fields, golf courses and farms. With efficient irrigation products and practices, it is absolutely possible for the average California resident to reduce outdoor water consumption by 25 percent or more without having to give up the plants, trees and gardens that add so much to our lives. 

Championing the need for change

We know that water-efficient irrigation products represent just one step down a long path toward positive change. That’s why Rain Bird also focuses on helping people learn how to use water wisely and efficiently. From our industry-leading training group to our sales and engineering professionals, employees throughout our organization are committed to the Intelligent Use of Water™. Every day, Rain Bird teaches irrigation professionals how to design, install and operate more efficient systems and educate consumers worldwide about responsible outdoor water use.

Today, Rain Bird and our partners in the irrigation and water management industries are in a unique position to make a difference during this time of water crisis. By working together, we can make it easier for all Californians to significantly reduce their outdoor water use while still enjoying the many benefits that green spaces have to offer. Rain Bird will continue to develop products and initiatives that will help Californians make responsible, informed choices about the ways we all use water. By taking advantage of intelligent watering products and practices today, we can usher in a new era of water efficiency and sustainable water use, not just in California, but around the world.


Anthony LaFetra, President
Rain Bird Corporation


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