Conservation, One Drop At A Time

BY: CHARLIE EDGAR

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Californians are aware that the state is in a serious drought.  Gov. Jerry Brown declared a drought State of Emergency to prepare for this.  And according to the Association of California Water Agencies, some parts of the state have difficulty meeting water demands even in normal years.  While people can’t create more water, they can do simple things in their daily lives to save water.  There are websites online like WaterUseItWisely.com that give helpful tips on how to save water.  

Here are some tips for saving water:

Download the "Report A Water Waster" app on Google Play

The city of Long Beach has an app available for download.  With this app, people can upload photos and send messages to report water violations.  So if a neighbor is watering his driveway, a quick snapshot with the app will send it into the city.  People without smartphones can report violations on LBWater.org.

Take shorter showers

This is a tip that everyone can make a difference with.  According to WaterUseItWisely.com, cutting a minute or two from showers will save up to 150 gallons of water per month.  It is recommended that showers should be kept under five minutes.  And a full bathtub can use 70 gallons of water, so take showers instead of baths.  If it's necessary to take a bath, try filling the tub halfway or less.

Collect unused water for other purposes

When the water in the shower is warming up, it is common for people to let the water drain until it’s just the right temperature.  Instead of wasting all of that cold water, collect it in a container and use that water for things like watering the lawn or plants.  Even when washing fruits and vegetables, collect that water to use it for other purposes.

Don’t use water to thaw frozens

Many people use running water to thaw frozen foods, especially frozen meat. A lot of people use this method because it’s easy and convenient, but it is highly wasteful. Try defrosting your food overnight in the refrigerator or by leaving it in the sink for a couple hours. If this is too time consuming and you want the quick fix running water provides, you can use the defrost setting on your microwave.

Check for leaks around your home

Surprisingly, many homes have hidden water leaks. When no water is being used, check your water meter and see if the meter reads the same after a couple hours. If it doesn’t read exactly the same then you have a leak. If you’re not sure where the leak is coming from, make sure to check your toilet tank first. Add about 10 drops of food coloring into the tank and let it sit for at least 15 to 30 minutes. If color appears in the bowl, then you have a leak. Make sure to flush after the test is done so you don’t leave any stains.