Being Water Wise in Drought Conditions

In beautiful sunny California, drought conditions are all too familiar.  Here are some water saving tips to help us conserve as much water as we can:

LaundryWhen doing laundry, always wash full loads or adjust the load size if you have a more modern efficient machine.  Conventional washers built before 2011 typically use about 40 gallons per load; resource-efficient washer may use as little as 15 gallons per load.

DishwashingIf washing dishes by hand, fill the sink with water rather than continually running the tap.  If possible, Install an efficient dishwasher. Selecting a new dishwasher that uses less water per cycle will reduce household water use.  Dishwashers use less water than handwashing, particularly if you limit pre-rinsing. Only wash full loads of dishes in the dishwasher

FaucetsFind and fix any leaky faucets.  A faucet leaking 60 drops per minute will waste 192 gallons per month, that it is equal to 2,304 gallons per year.   And, remember, turn off the faucet when lathering hands, shaving, or brushing teeth.

LandscapingIf an irrigation system is used, make sure it is properly set up and maintained.  Use native plants or plants that require little water to thrive in your region.  Keep soil healthy and add mulch to prevent water loss through evaporation.  If watering with a hose, make sure it has a shut-off nozzle.  Water in the morning to prevent water loss due to evaporation. Never let the water run from your landscaping and under your mobile home.  It is important to keep the area under you home dry if at all possible.

ShowersIf it takes a long time for hot water to reach the shower, use it as an opportunity to collect water for other uses, such as watering house plants.  Take Shorter Showers.  Reducing a 10-minute shower to 5 minutes will save 12.5 gallons of water if the showerhead has a flow rate of 2.5 gallons per minute (even more if the showerhead has a higher flow rate).

ToiletsReplace toilets installed before 1992 with High Efficiency Toilets.  Some older toilets may use as much as 7 gallons per flush.   Check toilets to verify they are working properly.  A running toilet can waste hundreds of gallons of water per day.