Senator Boxer Offers Water Conservation Tips
Thursday, October 4, 2007
California continues to struggle with an extended drought, leaving many communities to urge voluntary conservation measures. Many of these conservation campaigns encourage every person to work to save just 20 gallons of water each day. I’m pleased to provide five simple ways to reach this goal.
- Stop leaks. Fixing just one leaky faucet can go a long way in reaching the goal of saving 20 gallons of water a day. Some leaks are obvious, but others are hidden. Check with your utility company to find out how to check for leaks.
- Replace an old toilet. Toilets use more water than any other usage in most homes. If your home was built before 1992 and the toilet has never been replaced, you should consider switching to a water efficient model. The oldest toilets can use upward of several gallons per flush. The newest toilets use no more than 1.6 gallons, some even less. And when you do, install a lower flow shower head which will save even more water.
- Turn off the faucet whenever you can. Turning off the faucet when you brush your teeth can save three gallons a day. You can save about 5 gallons by reducing your shower by one or two minutes. If you turn off the hose while washing your car, you can save up to 150 gallons per wash.
- Switch to Energy Star appliances, including your clothes washer and dish washer. These types of appliances use 35 to 50 percent less water and 50 percent less energy per load. You will save money on both your water and energy bills. And many local utilities offer rebates on the purchase of these products. And run these appliances only when they are really full. Washing partial loads wastes water and energy.
- If you are thinking about changing your landscaping, consider plants that require less water. If you don’t want to change your landscaping, assess your irrigation needs. Water only when your yard is dry, and then apply only as much water as needed. Watering very early in the morning will also help conserve water because of reduced evaporation.
None of us know when this drought may come to an end, but if a significant number of Californians save 20 gallons of water each day, we may be able to avoid mandatory water conservation measures, while saving money on water and the energy needed to supply it.
U.S. Senator Barbara Boxer