As the majority of California faces an ongoing drought, the state has asked residents to make changes to reduce their overall water use. The goal is for residents to reduce their usage by 15% to help address the water shortages caused by the drought.
In an effort to help residents do this, the Bay Area Water Supply and Conservation Agency has provided a variety of tips to residents on how they can cut back. If applied properly, these tips can lead to water savings that can help alleviate a lot of the pressure on the current water supply.
These tips address both indoor and outdoor water use. Outdoors, residents should cut back on the number of days they water the lawn, and check for any leaks in hoses, sprinklers, and lawn irrigation systems. In addition, watering the lawn during the cooler part of the day (such as very early in the morning) prevents water loss due to evaporation.
It’s also a good idea to avoid using a hose (and water) to clean sidewalks and pavement. Using a broom instead will save a lot of water.
Indoors, California residents can reduce their water use by replacing old toilets and water-wasting appliances. When it comes to water use, toilets typically rank as the top user, with clothes washers following closer behind. Newer, high-efficiency models of both use a lot less water while doing the same job. A lot of the Bay Area water agencies offer rebates to residents who purchase these high-efficiency options.
It’s also recommended to replace older shower heads with newer, high-efficiency options. This, combined with shorter showers overall, can save up to 2 ½ gallons per minute.
Residents can also do other simple things, such as turning off the water while brushing their teeth and washing dishes, to increase the water savings. This will help build back up the water reservoirs, so water will continue to be available in the coming years.
The Bay Area Water Supply and Conservation Agency has the full list of water-saving tips on its website, https://bawsca.org/conserve/tips. If all residents take some water-saving action(s), the state can prepare itself better for the hot, dry months ahead. Given that water is essential to life, and that the current droughts are not expected to end any time soon, it is more important than ever that residents do everything they can to conserve this valuable resource.
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