California has seen record dry conditions this winter season. Experts say they are seeing conditions that would normally be occurring in mid-summer.? This is the worst it’s been since 14 years ago when the Drought Monitor began. Governor Jerry Brown declared a drought emergency last week for the state of California. The Obama administration declared 27 California counties, including most of the Bay Area, as ?natural disaster areas?. Currently, more than 90 percent of California is experiencing severe drought conditions.
In the midst of this drought, experts are worried about the water supply. Most smaller water agencies are struggling and have just a 100-day supply of water left. However, the Bay Area water districts have not called for water rationing and don’t plan on making water conservation decisions until March or April. As Californians, we can start helping our state by taking a proactive approach towards conserving water by adapting our daily in home habits. Here is a list of some very simple, yet very helpful water conservation tips for the home.
Check pipes and faucets for leaks: A small drip from a worn faucet washer can waste 20 gallons of water per day. Larger leaks can waste hundreds of gallons.
Don’t use the toilet as an ashtray or wastebasket: Every time your flush a cigarette butt, facial tissue or other small bit of trash, five to seven gallons of water is waster.
Check your toilets for leaks: Put a little food coloring in your toilet tank. If, without flushing, the color begins to appear in the bowl within 30 minutes, you have a leak that should be repaired immediately. Most replacement parts are inexpensive and easy to install.
Use your water meter to check for hidden water leaks: Read the house water meter before and after a two-hour period when no water is being used. If the meter does not ready exactly the same, there is a leak.
Install water-saving shower heads and low-flow faucet aerators: Inexpensive water saving low-flow shower heads or restrictors are easy for the homeowner to install. Also, limit your showers to the time it takes to soap up, wash down and rinse off.
Put a plastic bottles of float booster in your toilet tank: To cut down water waste, put an inch or two or pebbles inside each to two plastic bottles to weigh them down. Fill the bottles with water, screw the lids on, and put them in your toilet tank, safely away from the operating mechanisms. You can also buy an inexpensive tank bank or float booster.
Insulate your water pipes: It’s easy and inexpensive to insulate your water pipes with pre-slit foam pipe insulation. You?ll get hot water faster, plus avoid wasting water while it heats up.
Take a shorter showers: One way to cut down on water is to turn off the shower after soaping up, then turn it back on to rinse.
Turn off the water after you wet your toothbrush: There is no need to keep the water running while brushing your teeth. Just wet your brush and fill a glass for mouth rinsing.
Rinse your razor in the sink: Fill the sink with a few inches of warm water. This will rinse your razor just as well as running water, with far less waste of water.
Use your dishwasher and clothes washer for only full loads: Automatic dishwashers and clothes washers should be fully loaded for optimum water conservation. Replace old clothes washers. New Energy Star rated washers use 35-50% less water and 50% less energy per load.
Minimize use of kitchen sink garbage disposal units: In-sink garbage disposals require lots of water to operate properly and also add considerably to the volume of solids in the septic tank which can lead to maintenance problems.
When washing dishes by hand, don’t leave the water running for rinsing: If you have a double-basin, fill one with soapy water and one with rinse water.
Don’t let the faucet run while you clean vegetables: Just rinse them in a stoppered sink or pan of clean water.
Keep a bottle of drinking water in the fridge: Running tap water to cool off for drinking is wasteful.