How Families Can Make Every Drop Count
2008 Leaves Kern County High and Dry
It's a resource we all take for granted, assuming it will always be there ready and waiting for us to use when we need to boil the pot of spaghetti or bathe the kids. Water is something we think too little of when it comes to usage, and a resource we can't do without.
But as anyone who's lived in Kern County (or anywhere else in California, for that matter) there are some years Mother Nature sometimes leaves us high and dry. And with rainfall now 75% of average, 2008 is definitely one of those years.
"California has been facing ex- tremely dry conditions, with April 2008 being recorded as the driest April on record," explains Jim Beck, General Manager, Kern County Water Agency. "Additionally, recent federal court rulings aimed at protecting the smelt and salmon in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta is also impacting water deliveries."
According to California Water Awareness Campaign website, families can help get our state through this dry spell by making a few changes in water usage at home - and save money to boot. For example, you can save between 750 and 1,500 gallons per month by only watering your lawn when it really needs it (usually every three days in the summer and every five days in the winter). Here's how to tell when the lawn really needs watering: step on the grass and if it springs back when you lift your foot, skip that day in the watering cycle. Here are ten more ways to save water and money:
|The average single-family home uses at least 30 percent of their water outdoors for irrigation, according to the Environmental Protection Agency, and more than 50 percent of landscape water is wasted due to runoff or evaporation.|
1. Save 20 gallon a day by fixing those leaky faucets and plumbing joints.
2. Save 150 gallons per car by using a bucket of water and a quick hose rinse when you've finished lathering up your car instead of running the hose while you're washing.
3. Save 500 to 800 gallons a month by installing water-saving or low-flow shower heads.
4. Save 300 to 800 gallons a month by running only full loads in dishwashers or washing machines.
5. Save up to 700 gallons a month by taking a shorter shower. Cutting off a minute or two can really save water.
6. Save even more by installing low-flow shower heads that are sold at most home improvement stores.
7. Save more than 600 gallons a month by cleaning driveways and sidewalks with a broom instead of hosing them off.
8. Save 400-600 gallons a month by not using your toilet as a wastebasket or ashtray.
9. Save 200-300 gallons a month by capturing the water as you wait for hot water to come down the pipes. Use this to water plants in your house or garden.
10. Save 500 gallons a month by adjusting your sprinklers so that the water lands on the lawn or garden and not the sidewalks, driveway or gutter.
But if you're looking for some real ways to cut down on water usage and save money, step outside. The average single-family home uses at least 30 percent of their water outdoors for irrigation, according to the Environmental Protection Agency, and more than 50 percent of landscape water is wasted due to runoff or evaporation.
So you can see how even small changes in water usage can mean big savings. And if every family does even just one of these things each day the savings will add up quickly, making every drop count.