Water Conservation - 7 Easy Things We Can Do

By
Real Estate Agent with Lyon Real Estate - El Dorado Hills CA DRE# 01499004

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!

Water Conservation - 7 Easy Things We Can Do

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. 

Comments (33)

Rick Snow - Selling El Paso TX
EXIT West Realty - El Paso, TX
Cool Deals on Hot Real Estate in El Paso, Texas

We average 8 inches of rain per year here in El Paso and have been very good at conserving water in our region. We have water restrictions year round for watering yards and occasionaly we have to implement more stringent measures in drought years. 

Here is a link to our conservation web page

Jan 25, 2014 01:18 PM
Kimo Jarrett
WikiWiki Realty - Huntington Beach, CA
Pro Lifestyle Solutions

Unfortunately, water conservation awareness is ineffective unless it's tied to the cost of using unnecessary water. We could all conserve water when it becomes prohibitively costly. Our water company has 3 penalty phases after a household maximizes their initial base of water use. The more water you use the higher the bill, so keeping usage down is dependent on how much you value keeping more of the money you earn, doesn't it?

Jan 25, 2014 01:58 PM
Peter Rozsa
Cupertino, CA - Cupertino, CA

The last time I looked the planet is 2/3 water! The government is using this as another excuse to regulate and control its citizens!

Are they willing to pay to replace my dead lawn if I don't water it (see footnote*)?

Don't let them do this to us! DEMAND that they provide fresh water immediately, regardless of the rainfall.

Many countries do not have ample supply of potable water (Israel is one example) so the government constructed desalinization plants to provide fresh water to its citizens. The last time I looked, the US is surrounded by two oceans, one gulf and 5 lakes. Who the hell are they kidding? No water? Riiiight.

This reminded me of our local cities banning plastic shopping bags because it clogged up the sewer filters and they claimed it's a pain in the a** to clean them. Because these lazy government workers didn't want to do their job, we now have to bring our own bag to the grocery store.

Why do these bureaucrats blame us for their lack of planning when every few years California goes through a "drought"? They should be prepared to handle it! That's why we elected them!

Keep believing what they say. Remember, when you hear a bureaucrat say: "I'm from the government, and I'm here to help you!" you better run in the opposite direction. 

Most people haven't the time to research what the true facts are and they believe whatever the government says because if it comes from them, it must be true.

 

* An HOA cited one of the homeowners of a single family homes for letting their lawn turn brown and adversely affect the community property values. Go figure.

Jan 25, 2014 03:02 PM
Kirk Knight
Alain Pinel Realtors - Alameda, CA

Peter,

You forgot to include your sarcasm font. You are being sarcastic, aren't you?

Jan 25, 2014 03:11 PM
Valerie Crowell
Keller Williams - Walnut Creek, CA
Broker Associate

Until that high pressure front off the coast breaks, we're screwed.  

Kirk, sadly he's not.  He forgot or maybe he doesn't know that we built a bunch of cities in the freaking desert.  And just in case anyone forgot, Los Angeles was desert too.  They can't dump all of the water to the public right now just because Peter hates politicians.  What if it doesn't rain in 2015 either.  Then what?  He forget how angry Northern California gets when we have to conserve while our water goes to Southern California and they can water their lawns and wash their cars?  That's a deal the City of San Francisco made years ago with Hetch Hetchy.  There isn't a thing we can do about that.  But let's just drain all the lakes and rivers and not grow any food because Peter thinks it's being manipulated by politicians.  

I said several years ago that water was going to be our next big problem.  Here we are.  We are dumping drinking water on our lawns while subsahara Africa dies of dehydration.  

We really need to look at ourselves and how we utilize our resources and be more responsible to the planet we share.  

Jan 25, 2014 11:05 PM
Sharon Parisi
United Real Estate Dallas - Dallas, TX
Dallas Homes

Capturing cold shower water is so easy.  What a great idea.

Jan 25, 2014 11:08 PM
Cathy Wolters
Wolters Realty & Property Management Company - Cocoa, FL
Your Brevard County Property Management Expert

Good information, the area where I live has drought conditions at times as well.  I really like the one about collecting the cold water while the shower is warming up. 

Jan 25, 2014 11:46 PM
Bill Morrow
Keller Williams of Central PA - Mechanicsburg, PA
Bill Morrow, Associate Broker

Also do not forget to check your toilets and facets for proper working order. A leaking toilet can go through hundreds of gallons a day as can a dripping faucet.

Jan 26, 2014 01:32 AM
Raymond Denton
Mutual of Omaha - Military Home Loan Division - Irvine, CA
Veteran Friendly Lender

People wouldn't be so wasteful with water if the price of water went up dramatically when the supply was low.

Jan 26, 2014 01:40 AM
Marte Cliff
Marte Cliff Copywriting - Priest River, ID
Your real estate writer

So sorry for your lack of rain - and so glad that water usage isn't an issue where I live. We not only have plenty, it's good, clean water that hasn't been exposed to pollutants - or to treatment to remove the gunk.

Jan 26, 2014 03:01 AM
DeeDee Riley
Lyon Real Estate - El Dorado Hills CA - El Dorado Hills, CA
Realtor - El Dorado Hills & the Surrounding Areas

Thanks all for your comments and suggestions!  Seeing Folsom Lake, there is no dought of the severity of our current situation.  Please see my latest post with pictures.

Folsom Lake - January 25, 2014

Jan 26, 2014 03:44 AM
Kirk Knight
Alain Pinel Realtors - Alameda, CA

For those of us who are data driven, here's a very recent report 

<a href="http://californiawaterfoundation.org/uploads/1389391749-Watersmart_evaluation_report_FINAL_12-12-13(00238356).pdfs">"Evaluation of East Bay Municipal Utility District’s Pilot of WaterSmart Home WaterReports."</a>

It has data that reducing water use about 5% can be quickly done with basic awareness. Reducing more requires some serious changes. It also breaks down desalination costs.

"Recent cost estimates for five proposed desalination projects in Southern California range from $1,191 to $2,340 per acre-foot (California Natural Resources Agency, 2013) "

"The California Department of Water Resources (DWR) estimates the implicit cost of water supply from proposed new conveyance for the Delta at between $500 to $700* range per acre-foot …after factoring the fully burdened costs."

So desalinated water is 400-600% more expensive.

 

Jan 26, 2014 07:35 AM
Kirk Knight
Alain Pinel Realtors - Alameda, CA

(fixed link)

For those of us who are data driven, here's a very recent report "Evaluation of East Bay Municipal Utility District’s Pilot of WaterSmart Home WaterReports."

It has data that reducing water use about 5% can be quickly done with basic awareness. Reducing more requires some serious changes.

"Recent cost estimates for five proposed desalination projects in Southern California range from $1,191 to $2,340 per acre-foot (California Natural Resources Agency, 2013) 

"The California Department of Water Resources (DWR) estimates the implicit cost of water supply from proposed new conveyance for the Delta at between $500 to $700* range per acre-foot …after factoring the fully burdened costs."

So desalinated water is 400-600% more expensive

Jan 26, 2014 07:37 AM
Suzanne Otto
Six Twenty Designs - Lansdale, PA
Your Montgomery County PA home stager

I bet the dripping faucets are the biggest offenders. Many people don't realize they're dripping and how much they're dripping. Great post DeeDee!

Jan 26, 2014 09:38 PM
David Popoff
DMK Real Estate - Darien, CT
Realtor®,SRS, Green ~ Fairfield County, Ct

Landscaping can account for up to 30% of household drinkable water, plant local plants, use a water sensor on irrigation, use drip irrigation, use a rain water collection system.

Jan 26, 2014 10:13 PM
Christine Faye Goolsby, PA
Keller Williams Realty of Port St Lucie - Saint Lucie West, FL
As a fourth generation Floridian, I know Florida

My sister planted her house with drought resistant landscaping and grass. Looks very nice.

Jan 27, 2014 04:18 AM
Mike McCann - Nebraska Farm Land Broker
Mike McCann - Broker, Mach1 Realty Farmland Broker-Auctioneer Serving Rural Nebraska - Kearney, NE
Farm Land For Sale 308-627-3700 or 800-241-3940

Was sad to hear the other day how severe the drought was in the Sacramento area.  We are dry here in the Midwest as well.  We need to get our rain dance shoes on!!

Jan 27, 2014 05:05 AM
Marsha Cash
RE/MAX Advantage - Stockbridge, GA

I'm with you sister!  Been conserving water for a long time.  Try to get others to do so as well.

Jan 27, 2014 05:36 AM
Evelyn Kennedy
Alain Pinel Realtors - Alameda, CA
Alameda, Real Estate, Alameda, CA

Dee Dee:

Thanks for the great tips.  If it ever rains we will still have to preserve our water supplies.  It will take a long time to fill our reservoirs to capacity.

Jan 27, 2014 08:13 AM
Gene Riemenschneider
Home Point Real Estate - Brentwood, CA
Turning Houses into Homes

You can use bio friendly soap and get a grey water system for your lawn and garden.

Jan 28, 2014 02:52 AM

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