Drought 101: Ten Easy Tips for Conservation

By Kelly Ross

With summer rapidly approaching, and the thermometer starting to rise, it’s going to be tempting to use more water as the heat takes its toll. But California, along with other southwestern states, is in the midst of one of the most severe droughts on record.

That’s why last January Gov. Brown declared a state of emergency and encouraged state officials to take all actions necessary to manage the unparalleled drought. With that the State Water Resources Control Board mandated an emergency regulation calling for a 25 percent reduction in water consumption statewide. In an effort to urge California residents to comply, some water districts have even implemented penalty fees for over-consumption.

Others utilities, like the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California and the Upper San Gabriel Valley Municipal Water District, are urging Californians to take steps to be water wise. Here are a few water conservation tips our union friends over at the utilities have suggested:

1. Simply turning off the water while you brush your teeth can save up to 2.5 gallons of water a minute.

2. You can save 50 gallons of water a week by washing only full loads of laundry and dishes.

3. Cover pools and spas to reduce evaporation.

4. Take shorter showers. Not all of us can take a 5 minute shower, but by using a timer and limiting your time in the shower you can save up to 8 gallons each time.

5. Water your lawn in the early morning or evening for a more effective result and less evaporation.

6. Use plants that are native to California when landscaping. They generally need less water.

7. Fix leaks in plumbing and sprinklers immediately.

8. Using a broom to clean driveways and sidewalks instead of a hose will save you upwards of 150 gallons of water.

9. Use a bucket and a hose with a shut-off nozzle when washing your car.

10. Water your lawn only once a week instead of five days a week and save almost 840 gallons of water a week.

Got a few suggestions of your own? Add them to the comments!

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