When the temps rise, so does our water usage, quickly evaporating our efforts to conserve water due to the California drought
Remember all the good water conservation habits you instituted due to the California drought? New data from the State Water Resources Control board shows that in the last eight months, those efforts to save water have declined. That means we’re experiencing a larger impact on areas already struggling with drought conditions.
"Summer's rising temperatures often coincide with rising outdoor water use, primarily due to an increase in lawn and landscape watering," says WaterSense. "While using water efficiently is important throughout the year, sometimes the timing of water use can make a big difference for community water supplies - and your water bill."
Staying water-efficient is more important today than ever, especially since we are in the middle of fire season. Currently, there are around 20 blazes raging in California, and more than 90 across the United States, from Texas to Alaska.
Here are 7 things you can do to conserve water right now:
- Turn Your Faucet Off!
You probably don’t realize that an average of four gallons of water is wasted every time you leave your faucet running. Do you really need to leave the water on while you brush your teeth? I think not!
- Check for Leaky Toilets
"It may seem like a slow drip, but those drips add up to gallons faster than you might realize," according to Maximum Yield. "To diagnose a silent toilet leak, place food coloring in your toilet tank and wait to see if the color makes it into the bowl. If you see color seeping in, it's time for a fix."
- Time Your Shower
Set a 10-minute timer whenever you take a shower. Even cutting back a couple times a week from long showers can make a difference. By shaving off just two minutes, you’ll save 1,750 gallons of water in a year!
- Wash Your Dishes in the Dishwasher
"Doing a full load in your machine is far more efficient than washing the same number of dishes by hand," according to This Old House. "This is especially true if you have an Energy Star dishwasher, which requires an average of four gallons of water per load, compared with the 24 gallons it takes to do them in the sink. Using one will save you 5,000 gallons of water, $40 in utility costs, and 230 hours of your time each year."
- Use the Car Wash
If you think you’re saving water by washing your car by hand, you’re not. In fact, washing your car at home uses two and a half times more water than the car wash!
- Are Your Sprinklers Working Properly?
When your sprinkler heads don't work properly, you could be throwing water down the drain. Sprinklers can be broken or damaged easily so have them checked periodically. Also, never, never over water and only turn on your sprinklers in the early morning hours or at night. "Water evaporates quickly when the sun is high, so sprinkle when it's more likely to stay in the soil," says the National Resources Defense Council (NRDC). "And make sure you're watering your yard, not the sidewalk or driveway. A drip irrigation system works better than sprinklers, as it sends targeted amounts of water exactly where you want it. Check to see if you qualify for a rebate to make your irrigation system more water-efficient."
- Use Rubber Mulch
"Rubber is a step up from the bark-like texture you're probably used to seeing," as reported by HGTV. "Made from 100-percent recycled tires, rubber mulch is suitable to use on most landscapes. It has several benefits: a safe play surface for children, prevents weeds, does not attract insects and water and air can easily flow through it."
For more ideas on conserving water, check out this guide from Water Tech Advice, a website created to help homeowners easily find the best water technology for their home water demands. Meantime, if you live in Montecito, Hope Ranch or any of Santa Barbara’s upscale communities, please remember, the California drought is not over! If you are looking to move to a new property where you can continue to conserve water, please call at 805.886.9378 or email me at Cristal@montecito-estate.com. I’ll happily add your listing to my portfolio of fine homes in the area and find your new dream home for your family. No matter where you live in California, just remember: 10-minute showers!