California is in the midst of a water crisis. It's not just a drought — it's a crisis caused by a combination of years of dry winters, the depletion of reservoirs, and new water policies in the Sacremento Delta.
What You Can Do to Conserve
- Curb Outdoor Watering
Over 50% of household water is used outdoors. There are several ways to curb outdoor water use:
- Adjust outdoor sprinklers to prevent run off
- Water less often: most lawns can get by when watered just 3 times per week
- Replace turf grass with native plant or drought-tolerant species
- Invest in microsprayers, drip irrigation, and a weather-based timer.
Any — or all — of these devices will help you reduce outdoor watering
- Mulch outdoor plants to reduce evaporation. Use organic mulch to reduce soil compaction
- Use a broom instead of a hose to clean outdoor sidewalks
- Invest in Low-Water Use Appliances and Plumbing Fixtures
- Newer, high efficency washing machines save both water and power
- Newer dishwashers are also more water and energy-efficient
- Low-flush toilets and dual-flush toilets are much more efficient than older models
- Use a flow-restricting shower-head
- Fix leaky faucets
- Change Some Habits
- Turn off the water when brushing your teeth or washing your face
- Shorten your showers to 5 minutes or less
- Use the dishwasher instead of hand-washing dishes
- Only run the dishwasher when it's full - or use a half-load setting (if your washer has one)
- Use bath-towels and face-cloths more than once before washing
- Wash only full loads of laundry
For more conservation tips and information, see these web sites:
This site, sponsored by the Family of Southern California Water Agencies, features tips on saving water and water-wise landscaping.
- Watering Calculator
This site is for WaterSense, a partnership program sponsored by the Environmental Protection Agency seeking to protect the future of our nation's water supply by offering people simple ways to use less water.
This web site provides a virtual tour of a dedicated conservation home. You can see water saving tips room-by-room by taking the Virtual Home Tour: www.h2ouse.org/tour/. Or see the top five actions you can take to start saving water immediately: www.h2ouse.org/action
It's never too late or too early to adjust your watering schedule. Cut back on water without cutting into your quality of life. Visit Metropolitan Water District's Landscape Watering Calculator Tool and Watering Index.
Save Our Water has tools, tips, and videos to help you save water.
This site provides information on California native plants.
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