You may have heard: California is in the midst of its worst drought in over a century. A 20% reduction goal by Governor Jerry Brown fell woefully short as the state actually increased its water consumption. Stricter proposals such as a hefty fines are being considered (update: enacted!) to combat this critical problem, just short of implementing mandatory water rationing for all households.
To do my part as a citizen of this fine state, I thought I’d share some tips to lower your water usage:
- Collect cold water in a bucket while waiting for hot water - Taking a shower and hate waiting for the water to reach a comfortable temperature before stepping in? Put that cold water to good use by filling it in a bucket and using it for other purposes like watering your plants or washing your car. Speaking of cars, sell it so you don’t have to wash it anymore.
- Refill your water bottle from public hydration stations - I can’t ask you to drink less water as you need it to stay healthy. In places like SFO and UC Irvine though, hydration stations are available for people to refill their water bottles for free. Google “hydration stations in [your location]” to find places in your area.
- Eat water rich foods - Watermelon and tomatoes are about 90% water weight so fill up!
- Flush the toilet less often - Hey, I did say this would be involve extreme measures! For the numero unos, try flushing every other time (Remember to get air fresheners and close the lid!). For numero dos, please keep flushing with every usage for the sake of your fellow housemates. Also consider buying dual-flush toilet. It has a half flush option for liquid waste and a full flush option for solid waste.
- Shower less frequently - Hygiene be damned! We have a drought to deal with! Stock up on deodorant, perfume, cologne, and air fresheners.
- Wash your hair less frequently - Similar to tip #5, washing your hair with shampoo/soap requires longer showers. You don’t need to use gell on your hair anyways.
- Install aerators on your faucets - In college, my roommate managed to get our entire dorm’s bathrooms outfitted with aerators on all the faucets. I can’t remember how much water we ended up saving that year but these devices did its job.
- Collect water when it actually does rain - We’re in the midst of summer so don’t expect any rain until October of September. But when that time comes around, be sure to spring into action and place all the buckets you have outside to collect this precious resource. Oh, be sure to use it quickly otherwise insects like mosquitos will use it to lay their eggs and cause other problems like death and taxes.
There you have it, California. We can pray as hard as we want but this problem isn’t going away quietly. If you have any useful tips or ideas to conserve water, please share them in the comments section below.
Photo credit: Huffington Post