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Cool Season Tips for Water Conservation
Now that fall is underway and winter just around the corner, it’s a good time to remember to continue conserving water—the 2014 water year ended on September 30 as one of California’s driest ever. And there’s no promise this water year will be any wetter.
It is more important than ever to remind everyone that just because we are out of the dry season doesn’t mean the drought is anywhere near over. When (and if) rain comes, conserving water may be the last thing that comes to mind. However, water conservation should be a daily, year-round habit for all of us.
To help guide us through the cooler seasons, here are some tips and ideas on how to save water:
Change your sprinkler schedule. As the weather cools down, lawns and plants don’t need as much water. And when it’s raining, they don’t need to be watered at all. Change your sprinkler timer now and then remember to turn if off when it is raining. Another option is to invest in a weather-based irrigation controller that adjusts the sprinkler times automatically. Remember, mandatory watering restrictions are in still in effect. From November 16 through April 15 only water once a week—addresses ending in odd numbers water on Saturdays and those ending in even numbers water on Sundays.
Get a jump on spring plantings. Gardeners will tell you that plants set in the fall season require less water and will look better come springtime!
Help your trees survive the drought. Continue to water wisely and maintain your trees and landscape carefully throughout the fall season. Our trees provide a wide range of benefits at a low cost and with little effort.
Redirect downspouts to capture water. Simply redirect downspouts outside your home to capture any rainwater and direct it to garden or plant areas.
Check for leaks. Find and fix leaks now! One way to find out if you have a leak present 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 most likely have a leak.
Install water-efficient showerheads. Most water is wasted outdoors, but did you know showers are the largest indoor water waster? Reduce your indoor water use by as much as one-third by simply switching your old showerheads with water-efficient showerheads. For more information, go to www.epa.gov/WaterSense/products/showerheads.html.
Hold a household meeting to remind others to stick to these easy water saving tips:
- 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
For more water saving tips and ideas year-round, visit www.SaveOurWater.com.