November 25, 2013
When the rain starts, conserving water may be the last thing that comes to mind. Yet given California’s Mediterranean climate, water conservation should be a daily, year-round habit for all of us.
Here are some tips and ideas on how to conserve water this fall and winter:
- Change your sprinkler schedule – As the weather cools, lawns and plants don’t need as much water. And when it’s raining, they don’t need to be watered at all. So change your sprinkler timer now and then remember to turn if off when it is raining. Or you can invest in a weather-based sprinkler and never have to worry about your sprinkler schedule again.
- Get a jump on spring plantings — Gardeners will tell you that plants set in the fall require less water and will look better come spring.
- Check for leaks – Why pay for water that you’re not using? Find and fix leaks now. One way to find leaks is to read your water meter before and after a two-hour period when no water is being used. If the meter does not read exactly the same, you probably have a leak.
- Install low-flow showerheads – Showers are the largest indoor water use. Reduce your water use by as much as one-third by simply switching your old showerheads for low-flow showerheads.
- Consider investing in a rain barrell to collect and store rain water runoff. Water collected can be used to water outdoor plants when needed instead of turning on your sprinklers.
- Hold a household meeting to remind people to:
- Keep showers to 5 minutes (a shower timer is handy).
- Run the dishwasher and washing machine with full loads only.
- Fill the sink when hand washing dishes—don’t let the water run.
- Don’t use the toilet as a wastebasket.
- Keep a bucket in the shower to catch water that can be used on container plants