If you’ve never passed through California, you might not realize the extent of agriculture here (no, California is not all Hollywood and San Francisco). 🙂 California has a lot of open space where corn, rice, hay, etc are grown and orchard after orchard of almonds, walnuts, fruits, etc are planted. The water restrictions we are facing will not only cause significant loss in agriculture, but an increase of prices.
Knowing we’d face more water restrictions this year, it sent me searching and paying attention to our current water use. Because of all the inside renovation work we’ve been doing, we won’t be worrying about a garden this year (bitter sweet), but we still have a front and backyard lawn, not to mention a few of my herbs and rhubarb that managed to survive last year’s drought. Cutting down on our watering last summer made a huge impact on our water use. I’m hoping that by implementing even more of the following tips, we’ll cut it down even more for this year.
- Toilet leaks – Toilets can waste a lot of water. Test your toilet to make sure it’s not leaking. Add some food coloring to your tank and see if it leaks into the bowl within the next 10 minutes. If it does, you have a leaky toilet and possibly need to replace your flapper valve.
- Reduce toilet tank water – To reduce water usage in the toilet tank, add brick or rock to the tank. It will lessen the amount of water that fills the tank.
- Running the tap – When brushing your teeth or shaving, turn off the tap instead of letting it run the whole time and use a cup for mouth rinsing.
- Sink leaks – Check pipes under the sink and the faucet. Make sure neither are leaking.
- Time showers – Keep showers to under 5 minutes and try to cut that time down even more. Also, use a bucket to catch as much run off as possible.
- Don’t flush the toilet as often. I know, I know…
- Dishwasher owners – Run only when you have a full load.
- Non-dishwasher owners – Purchase two dish pans for washing/rinsing dishes in (you can find these at a DollarTree as well and much cheaper). The dish pans will make it easier for removing the water from the sink and using the used water to water plants or your garden.
- Rinsing produce – Fill a dish pan or pot with water and rinse your produce. Use remaining water for plants or garden.
- Pipes – Double check the pipes under the sink and your faucet for leaks.
- Heating water – If you need hot water, heat it by the stove or microwave instead of letting the water run.
- Cold drinking water – Keep a pitcher of water in the fridge to keep from running water until cold.
Laundry Room –
- Soaking – Try stain removers that don’t require soaking.
- Washing machines – If you don’t have a water efficient washing machine, make sure you’re doing full loads of laundry so you’re getting the most out of your water.
- Limit laundry – Try to get as many uses as possible out of your clothing.
- Washing water – Use cold water as often as possible. It’ll save on energy.
Outdoor Tips –
- Lawns and sprinklers – If you have sprinklers, run them in the evening so you get the most benefit of the moisture.
- Watering – Run sprinklers only on certain days of the week.
- Leaks – Check regularly for leaks and fix them quickly.
- Rain barrels – Use large containers to collect rain water. Keep them covered to keep bugs and debris out.
- Run off – Use run off from inside, gutters, etc to water plants and gardens.
- Soil – Add up to 4 inches of organic material, such as peat or compost, to your soil. Greater soil depth will help the soil retain water
What are some other ways you reduce water usage?
[Tweet “Tips to #Reduce Water Usage in a #Drought. #frugalliving #practicalliving “]