As of July 8, 2021, Santa Cruz County was included among three Bay Area counties added to Governor Newsom’s emergency drought proclamation. The proclamation now involves 50 of California’s 58 counties. Currently, it’s unclear what impact the declaration will have but it does give the state more power to limit the rights of some water users and suspend environmental regulations.
Upon making the announcement, Newsom also suggested that the county’s residents take measures to reduce their water consumption by 15 percent. According to the U.S. Drought Monitor for California, approximately 94.73% of the state is in severe drought. Although the water conservation order is presently voluntary, taking action to preserve the water we have will greatly help the severe water scarcity that we’re seeing in the state. After all, water is a precious, limited resource – especially during droughts.
How to Conserve Water During California Drought Emergency
From installing low-flow showerheads and toilets to developing a rainwater collection system at home, there are a number of ways that homeowners can tackle water wastage. Though, some of the most effective ways to conserve water don’t require you to make any home alterations at all – which can be especially beneficial if you’re a renter.
Continue reading for some of the easiest ways to make changes to your lifestyle and save water in the process!
Take Quicker Showers & Skip Baths
If you’re someone who enjoys a long, hot shower, consider setting a timer on your phone to help you keep your shower to five minutes or less. This can save several gallons of water! And for those who loves baths, forgo soaking for the time being. Depending on the size of your bathtub, filling it up can require as much as 70 gallons of water! Therefore, showers that are kept at less than five minutes use far less water than a bath.
Only Run Full Loads
This tip applies to both your washing machine and your dishwasher. Instead of doing small loads of laundry during the week or running your dishwasher with just a few plates, wait until both appliances are full. If you absolutely have to run an incomplete load, make sure you change the water settings and use the cold setting. Washing laundry on cold saves both water and energy!
Turn Off the Water When You Brush
This is one of those water saving tips that is very easy to follow! Every time you brush your teeth, only use the faucet to get your toothbrush wet and to rinse it afterward. Turn off the faucet completely while you’re brushing. It may not seem like you’re doing much, but, trust us, all that water saved adds up!
You can also apply this tip to when you’re handwashing dishes. Instead of letting the water run, fill one basin with water to wash and the other for rinsing.
Only Flush Toilet Paper
This may go without saying but toilet paper should be the only thing that you’re flushing down your toilet (aside from human waste, of course). Each time that you flush things like cotton swabs, cigarette butts, facial tissues, contact lenses and other small pieces of garbage, you’re wasting water!
Use Your Garbage Disposal Sparingly
Believe it or not, your garbage disposal uses approximately 1 gallon of water per person, per day – roughly the same amount as a toilet flush. To save water, only use the garbage disposal when absolutely necessary. Or, instead of putting your food scraps down the drain, consider starting a compost bin.
Fortunately, modern dishwashers are excellent at cleaning off stuck-on food. So, scraping food scraps into your garbage disposal shouldn’t even be necessary. Though, if the food is really stuck on your dishes, try soaking instead of hand washing.
Choose Plants Carefully
An excellent way to still enjoy a lively indoor or outdoor space in a drought is to purchase drought-tolerant plants. Choose your plants carefully based on the amount of water they need to survive (or rather, lack of water). With drought-tolerant plants like cacti and many evergreens, you can still be a plant parent without all the constant watering.
Get Professional Help for Leaks!
The water that is lost due to leaks from showerheads and sink faucets adds up! In fact, according to Water Use It Wisely, one drip each second equals about five gallons of water lost each day. Make sure that you’re constantly checking your faucets and pipes for leaks on a routine basis.
If you notice a leak, give Anytime Plumbing a call! With more than two decades of experience serving Santa Cruz County, we are dedicated to delivering high-quality plumbing services at affordable prices. To find out how we can help you conserve water during a drought in Santa Cruz County, call us at today (831) 431-6593!