Our days without rain are up to 49 and counting in the Sacramento Valley and according to the weather stations there is still no rain in site for at least the next 10 days. I have lived in El Dorado Hills since 1996 and have never seen Folsom Lake so low. I've heard it is down to 18% capacity. We are in trouble!
Though Folsom Lake doesn't provide the water we use in El Dorado Hills, our reservoirs are feeling the drought as well and residents have been asked by our El Dorado Irrigation District for voluntary water conservation. Here are a 7 easy things we can do to conserve our precious resource:
1. Check your timer box to your outdoor irrigation. Turn off your irrigation system for the winter or irrigate your landscape only one time per week if needed. *Ordinarily brown lawns might make us think "tightwad" or over the last few years "foreclosure", but now's your chance to save some money and be looked at like you are doing your part for water conservation!
2. Be sure to check all of your drip irrigation heads for leaks and shooters. Even one drip line that has become detached from its emitter can waste many gallons of water on just one cycle. Also, check your lawn heads to be sure you're watering your lawn and not the sidewalks and streets. With the ground temps still very cold, you only need to water your lawn maybe twice a week for 3-4 minutes per station.
3. When you turn your shower on and you're waiting for the water to get hot, use a bucket and catch all of the cold water. You can use this water to feed plants or fill up your pet bowls.
4. Turn off the water when you brush your teeth or shaving.
5. Only use your washer and dish washer when full. Also, most newer washers and dish washers have cycles that are shorter and conserve water. Be sure that you are using those cycles.
6. If you must wash your car, please use a nozzle that only releases water when you squeeze it.
7. Use a blower or broom verses washing down driveways and patios.
If you haven't already, start thinking about water conservation and these 7 easy things we can do. Please feel free to add your own ideas in the comments. Drop by drop, gallon by gallon, in numbers it can make a difference.