The Best Ways To Save Water In The Bay Area

Photo of Ramman Kenoun
9 February 2017

It’s dry out there. So dry, in fact, that California is in its fourth year of record drought, and if the record-low rainfall continues, there may be critical issues in the near future. However, there are a few small steps that can be taken to save water in these exceptionally dry conditions.

© Steven Depolo/Flickr

1. Take shorter showers

Shorten your shower time to no more than five to eight minutes. While shampooing and/or applying soap, shut the water off. Doing so can save between 50 to 75 gallons per week.

2. Shut off water while brushing teeth

It is surprisingly common for people to keep the water running – even while brushing, when there’s no need to do so. Shutting the water off while brushing can save up to ten gallons a week.

© Dwight Burdette/Wikimedia Commons

3. Use water efficient home appliances

Newer dishwashers, laundry machines, and other appliances tend to be more advanced, and in many cases more environmentally friendly due to increased resource efficiency. When washing dishes by hand, turn off water between scrubbing dishes. When washing clothes by hand, reuse the water for multiple loads if possible.

4. Limit lawn irrigation to no more than once or twice a week

In fact, many plant species could thrive on even one day of watering per week. Try to limit watering plants just for cosmetic purposes, i.e., to make your home look good, to increase property values, etc. The water being used for indoor plants could be used for crops and other plants intended for consumption.

Water guns (01) | © Graham Dean/Flickr

5. Limit or stop all non-essential water usage

Washing the car uses significant water, even if washing by hand. Most backyard pools and Jacuzzis are quite large, some being hundreds or even thousands of gallons. Skipping out on filling these will save a lot of water. Even backyard water games use plenty of water, so reduce those, as well.

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