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California Drought Reminds Us All to Conserve Water

POSTED UNDER Energy & Conservation

California is entering its fourth year of a record-breaking drought (photos), with the governor declaring a drought State of Emergency in January 2015, imposing strict conservation measures statewide. Not only is fresh water becoming a scarce resource due to this drought, but wildfires continue to ravage the state as well.

With most of California under an exceptional drought, it’s never been more important to conserve water – not just in California, but everywhere. Why? For one, California ranks as the top farm state by annual value of agricultural products; its most notable exports are avocados, almonds and grapes. That avocado in your shopping cart most likely came from California. Also, fresh water is a scarce resource for all of us: while nearly 70 percent of the world is covered by water, only 2.5 percent of it is fresh.

So what can we do about it? From big renovations to small things around the house, there are vast solutions for conserving water.

Let’s start with renovations. Our new MCOM offices, located in drought-stricken San Francisco, did its part to conserve water with low-flow water fixtures, using 30 percent less water than standard buildings.

For renovations:

  • Install low-flow fixtures in your toilet, sinks and showers.
  • Install a dual-flush toilet with two flush options (half flush for liquid waste and full flush for solid waste).
  • If there are any leaks in your home, especially from the faucet, get them fixed – it’ll save you money and save a lot of wasted water.
  • Invest in energy-efficient appliances for dishwashers and clothes washers.

Speaking of dishwashers, let’s talk about simple things you can do to make a big difference for conservation:

  • Did you know dishwashers actually use less water than if you washed by hand? So use your dishwasher, just make sure it’s fully loaded.
  • The same rule goes for washing clothes: use full loads for laundry as well. And did you know cold water washes save energy?
  • Avoid just running the tap at all costs. This can be as simple as turning off the water when brushing your teeth, shaving or washing large pots or pans. Compost instead of using the disposal and wasting sink water. And collect rinsing water for use on plants.
  • If you must use sprinklers for landscaping, use them in them in the morning and at night when temperatures are cooler so less is evaporated.
  • When cleaning your sidewalk or driveway, use a broom instead of the hose.
  • Plant drought-tolerant plants where lawn is not needed. Not only does it provide a sustainable alternative, it’s also a beautiful new trend in landscape design.
  • Finally, monitor your monthly water bill for unusually high use. It could offer clues to improve conservation as well as any possible leaks.
  • Explore further tips with this interactive resource.

There are few things we truly need for survival. Water is most certainly one of them. We can all do our part to conserve this diminishing resource. Let’s start now.