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by Laurel, Danville,
on May 24, 2008
??? Is this about that letter from the water company?
Let's list here things we can do to reduce our water usage and help prevent a "tragedy of the commons".
- Take a shower with a family member
- Don't shower every day (adult skin dries out from frequent showers).
- Only wash full loads
- If your washer/dishwasher has the option, use the 'quick wash' setting. Most loads don't need a full cycle.
- Install a gray water system for irrigation. Gray water is water that has been used for washing (drains from sink, washer, bath, shower). Simple versions are keeping a bucket in the shower or hooking up a tank to the washer drain. Since we pay for water and sewer separately in Pleasanton, a professionally installed whole-house gray water system can pay for itself rather quickly.
- If you haven't already done so, replace all shower heads, toilets, faucets with low-gallon versions.
- Reduce the amount of dishes that need washing by serving food right out of the pot/pan instead of putting it in a serving dish.
Years ago when I was younger and we were in a drought- my parents taught us that when we take showers-- turn the water off when you are shampooing, washing your body, etc. and then turn the water back on to rinse off. That saves A LOT of water.
Another good rule of thumb--- if it's yellow don't flush-- if it's brown, well you know. You will save a lot of water that way. Disgusting, but it will reflect on your water bill. Watch.
Here's a list of things you can also do from an article I found on sfgate.com:
Replace older toilets with high-efficiency toilets
For older toilets, use displacement bags, toilet dams or adjustable flappers to save water.
Install water-efficient shower heads that use no more than 2.5 gallons of water per minute.
Low-flow aerators in faucets can reduce water use and splashing.
While waiting for water to get warm or cool, put a jug under the faucet for use in other parts of the house.
Turn off the tap when brushing teeth; rinse using a cup.
When showering and washing hands, wet body, turn off water, apply soap then turn on water to rinse.
Fill the sink or a bowl with water to wash fruits and vegetables.
Keep a container of water in the refrigerator rather than running tap water for a cool drink.
Water less frequently, but more deeply.
Adjust irrigation controller according to the season - new controllers can adjust for actual weather conditions.
Check irrigation systems for leaks.
Opt for drip irrigation, which applies water more efficiently.
Select plants adapted to Mediterranean climates.
Group plants according to water needs.
Apply mulch to gardens; it helps maintain moisture in the soil.
Do not irrigate in the middle of the day; water tends to evaporate.
Source: East Bay Municipal Utility District
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