California is officially in a drought. What’s more, experts are calling it the worst drought in the state’s history. While declaring a statewide drought emergency last week, Governor Jerry Brown reminded citizens to be aware of impending water shortages in the coming months.
While Brown is not currently enforcing a mandatory water reduction (although he recommends cutting down by 20 percent), it is critical to mitigate the situation before the worst comes. Even if you don’t live in California, dry years may hit your region of the world unexpectedly. Knowing how to prepare ahead of time and during the emergency will benefit you and, more importantly, the environment.
Here are ten practices you can take on to use water more efficiently:
1. Take Shorter Showers
Bathrooms account for 50 percent of a household’s total water use. This practice sounds easy enough to do, but you’d be surprised at how much water an extra few minutes in the shower uses up. Reducing your ten minute shower down to five could save as much as 12.5 gallons a day. For even more savings, consider installing a low-flow shower head. Compared to “standard” shower heads which swallow upwards of four gallons a minute, low flows use only about two.
2. Repair Dripping Faucets
Broken, dripping faucets should be fixed as soon as possible, regardless of a drought. Each bit of water counts: one drop per second consumes 2,700 gallons of water per year.
3. Go to the Car Wash
Most commercial car washes operate using recycled water. If you prefer to wash your own car though, rinse it during the coolest time of day, and try to park it on the grass.
4. Start Composting
Composting yields healthier soil, nutrient-rich plants and cleaner water. Instead of using your water-hungry kitchen sink disposal to get rid of food waste, start a compost pile.
All Photos: Thinkstock
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