Question and answer section
Tips to Conserve Water Ahead of Drought Season
Well, here we go again. Due to our dry weather and below-average rainfall over the last few months, California may once again find itself in a drought, and needing everyone to conserve water as best they can.
There was a time when “drought” mostly meant a threat to agriculture and the quality of our food supply. Or maybe it spiked your utilities budget. But for a while now, our first concerns of drought are the natural disaster kind.
Because clean water is part of our everyday living, it is very easy to take it for granted. We just turn the spigot on and there it is. Look around the house and see what you can do in your home to cut back on water use.
Here are a few tips to get you started on simple ways to conserve water:
In the Garden
- Make maximum use of water by either watering in the evening or early in the morning.
- Weeds steal valuable water, so keep them under control by weeding regularly.
- Spread a layer of mulch around plants to help retain moisture.
In the Laundry Room
- Consciously choose the proper water level for each load, rather than automatically keeping the setting for your last load.
- When purchasing a new washing machine, consider a front-loading style, which can use half the water of top-loading styles.
In the Bathroom
- Install an aerator on your faucet. An aerator is a simple, inexpensive device that adds air into the flow of water.
- Install a low-flow showerhead.
- To see if you have a toilet tank leak, add some food coloring to the tank. If the color seeps into the bowl without flushing, chances are you have a leak.
In the Kitchen
- Install an aerator on the kitchen faucet.
- Keep a pitcher of water in the refrigerator for when you need a cold drink instead of running the tap until the water is cold.
- Select the proper size pot when you are boiling water to make pasta or other boiled food. In other words, don’t use unnecessary water. Steam vegetables when possible instead of boiling them—this will also help the foods retain their nutrients.
- Instead of washing fruits and vegetables under running water, fill a bowl of water to rinse them in.
- And any of that water used above? Re-use it to water your plants or garden.
- Use the garbage disposal sparingly. Compost any food waste and save gallons of water.
Also, don’t forget to check the storm drains on the streets around your home. With below-average rainfall, leaves and debris tend to pile up on the edge of streets. The first rains after a dry spell will wash all this debris down to the nearest gutter, risking flash floods for the homes and businesses in the vicinity.
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