How to Save Water During California’s Drought


California is no stranger to earthquakes and budget deficits. But now, something else has topped the list: we are facing a major drought. California residents must make adjustments as a part of living in this beautiful state to conserve water as much as we can. Governor Jerry Brown has called a drought emergency and asked California residents to cut back on their water use by 20 percent.

Remember when you waited to flush the toilet and put buckets in the shower? Well, it’s time to dust off those tips! Fixing leaks in faucets and toilets and not watering your lawn as much can get most families to reach the 20 percent cutback goal. Making some simple daily adjustments can surprisingly save you a lot of water. Here are some other helpful tips to surviving the drought:

1) The easiest way to save water is outdoors. 50 percent of residential water use occurs outdoors in California. Your typical lawn consumes about 57 inches of rain a year but Southern California only received barely three inches last year. A lawn that is small uses about 35,000 gallons of water a year but many homeowners end up using twice that amount, especially in winter months. Planting more drought-tolerable plants is also an easy way to save water.


2) Take a 5- minute shower instead of a 10-minute shower. This saves 12.5 gallons if you are using a low-flow shower head. Taking a quicker shower saves 25 gallons with a standard 5 gallon-per-minute shower head. Even if you decrease the length of your shower by just a minute, you’ll save 2.5 gallons of water. Assuming you shower every day, that means 750 gallons less water used a month.

3) Refrain from hosing off your driveway. Use a broom to sweep it instead. This will save you 8-18 gallons a minute of water. Same goes for the sidewalk. There’s no need to waste so much water when a broom can do all the work.

4) Slow steady drips on faucets are a primary culprit for wasted water inside homes. Fixing the worn washers saves 350 gallons per month and 2,000 gallons a year if the leak is a small stream! If your toilet is leaking, install a new flapper to save you 7,000 gallons a month.

5) Turn off your water when brushing your teeth. This saves up to 4.5 gallons every time.

6) Consider purchasing water-efficient appliances. A water efficient-clothes washer will save up to 16 gallons a load. A water-efficient dishwasher will save 8 gallons a load. Make sure to take advantage of rebates that are available for these types of appliances.

7) Instead of letting the water run while you scrape dirty dishes and pans clean, soak them in the sink.

8) Replacing a toilet that is pre-1990 will save you 5 gallons per flush. Remember the old adage, “If it’s yellow, let it mellow”? Each time your flush the toilet, you use 3.5-7 gallons of water. That is equal to three minutes of shower time. Wouldn’t you rather save that water instead of literally flushing it down the toilet?!

If you have any questions about how to save water during the drought, or if you would like a plumbing system serviced or installed in your home, contact North County Plumbing today.

North County Plumbing has been in the service business since 1970 providing quality plumbing services including leak detection and drain service in northern San Diego County. Our qualified technicians are available 24 hours a day to help with emergency plumbing repair services… with no overtime charges!

If you found this blog helpful, you may want to check out our post “Save Money and Water with High Efficiency Toilets”.

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