BROWN IS THE NEW GREEN: Los Gatos & the Water Crisis

Real Estate Agent with Coldwell Banker BRE #01883674

We are all aware that we have a crisis on our hands.  Here in Los Gatos and most of California we are in our fourth year of unprecedented drought conditions.  Yesterday I received an article from someone back east entitled "Greedy Californians Are Almost Out of Water"!  This was followed by the gripe of what this will do to grocery prices!!  I was deeply offended by this, and was left speechless (something that doesn't often happen).  The price of groceries is the least of our concerns.  After all, WE are the ones who are dealing with all of the conditions attached to drought, and if things don't improve, WE are the ones who won't have water to drink, which is the very essence of survival.  So why would anyone be pointing fingers at us?

That said, I believe awareness on implementing conservation is paramount.  Here are some everyday actions we all can take:

  • Water landscaping at 5 AM...this saves 20 gallons a day
  • Water lawn 2x/week.  Contact a nursery to learn about deep root watering...this will keep grass green using a lot less water
  • Don't water lawn at all...BROWN is the new GREEN...grass will revive once water becomes available again.
  • Take shorter'll save 2.5 gallons/minute
  • Shut the water when you're brushing your teeth...this saves 2 gallons/minute
  • Shut the water while you are shaving...also 2 gallons/minute.  Better yet, use an electric razor.
  • Do not run water while loading the dishwasher...this sends 2.5 gallons/minute down the drain
  • I know this sounds gross, but do you really need to flush the toilet every time?  Put the lid down...we can live with this, but we can't live without water!
  • Take the car to a car wash that recycles water...Classic Car Wash does this.  There is also a Silicon Valley start-up that is working on waterless car washes!
  • Always dump water from glasses or water bottles into plants...they are suffering too!

While all these actions are easy to take, with an estimated 30,000 residents in Los Gatos it would make a great impact if we all do our part.  If you would like more information on the drought, go to the Los Gatos official website at

By the way, if you are thinking of buying or selling, I would love to sit down with you to discuss your options, as well as the new retrofit requirements for your home.


Comments (19)

Kathleen Daniels, Probate & Trust Specialist
KD Realty - 408.972.1822 - San Jose, CA
Probate Real Estate

Jayne,  It does not sound gross to me. I only flush when I have to flush. It kills me to see so many people watering their lawns and washing their cars. That was a very ignorant comment the person from back east made. I'm shaking my head in disbelief ... but perception and judgment abounds.

Mar 18, 2015 08:45 AM
Jayne Esposito
Coldwell Banker - Morgan Hill, CA

Kathleen Daniels, I can't say I've seen anyone washing their cars and thankfully I've only seen a handful of businesses get over zealous with watering.  We definitely need to pray for rain though.  There's nothing I hate more these days than looking at the seven day forecast, seeing rain in the forecast, only to fizzle out to nothing!

Mar 18, 2015 01:02 PM
Bob "RealMan" Timm
Ward County Notary Services - Minot, ND
Owner of Ward Co Notary Services retired RE Broker

Very interesting Jayne Esposito . Old timers here are talking about drought due to some early warm weather. The weather pattern over the last several years leans the opposite way. I am surprised that they have not come up with a way to treat salt water in a huge capacity to serve those who need it.

Mar 19, 2015 01:24 AM
Jayne Esposito
Coldwell Banker - Morgan Hill, CA

Bob "RealMan" Timm, actually there is a way to desalinate water, and several countries are doing it.  When I asked a friend who works for the water company why they weren't doing it here, his answer was, "It's too expensive!"

Mar 19, 2015 02:57 AM
Robert Hammerstein -
Christie's International Real Estate - Hillsdale, NJ
Bergen County NJ Real Estate

Jayne - It's a very scary situation you have out there and I feel for you. This is not something to take casually. One thing I might add to the tips would be to stop using all of those multi showerheads in the shower. You really only need one... Just my two cents.... Great post and best of luck...

Mar 19, 2015 05:13 AM
Jayne Esposito
Coldwell Banker - Morgan Hill, CA

Thanks Robert & Lisa Hammerstein! Meanwhile, you guys are getting ready to be slammed with more snow, so I feel for you!  Great idea about the multiple shower heads

Mar 19, 2015 01:19 PM
Mark Don McInnes, Sandpoint-Idaho
Sandpoint Realty LLC - Sandpoint, ID
North Idaho Real Estate - 208-255.6227

Hello Jayne,

    Born and raised in California I can not believe some of the comments I hear while living in Idaho.  There is a definite dislike of the perceived Californian's.  I have also noticed those same people do not mind selling their homes to Californian's.  ummph    Great ideas all, on saving water.  It amazes me how many people think it is up to someone else, when just a little help from everyone is the better result.  Mark

Mar 22, 2015 08:10 AM
Roy Kelley
Retired - Gaithersburg, MD

Thanks for sharing your water conservation tips. You should write a series of blogs on this topic.

Mar 23, 2015 01:46 AM
Jayne Esposito
Coldwell Banker - Morgan Hill, CA

Mark Don McInnes, Sandpoint, I know the gripe against Californians in Idaho well.  I lived and sold RE in Boise before we came out here.  I just sold my house in Boise to someone from San Diego

Roy Kelly, I agree...stay tuned 

Mar 23, 2015 01:59 AM
Larry Johnston
Broker, Friends & Neighbors Real Estate and Elkhart County Subdivisions, LLC - Elkhart, IN
Broker,Friends & Neighbors Real Estate, Elkhart,IN

Hi Jayne Esposito , I guess it's time to get out the green spray paint.  I sure you get some nice wet weather pretty soon.

Mar 23, 2015 01:57 PM
Jayne Esposito
Coldwell Banker - Morgan Hill, CA

Larry Johnston, I hope you're right about the wet weather.  I hate fake grass but I have the feeling we may be seeing more of that!

Mar 24, 2015 02:06 AM
Steve Babbitt
Babbitt Realty - Penfield, NY
Past President of the Rochester Realtors

Some great ideas for conserving water!

We feel so sorry for your lack of water when we have so much!  I actually follow many of these conservation steps without pressure to conserve water.

I'll pray for rain for your area!

Apr 18, 2015 11:00 PM
TeamCHI - Complete Home Inspections, Inc.
Complete Home Inspections, Inc. - Brentwood, TN
Home Inspectons - Nashville, TN area - 615.661.029

I have family that is living in CA. All I can say is that y'all are getting hammered by this drought. Let's hope it ends soon.

May 22, 2015 10:27 AM
Jayne Esposito
Coldwell Banker - Morgan Hill, CA

Michael Thornton, it just keeps getting worse!  In the two months since I wrote this, we've gotten one little spritz that was so insignificant the pavement was dry within an hour.  

May 23, 2015 12:33 AM
Barbara-Jo Roberts Berberi, MA, PSA, TRC - Greater Clearwater Florida Residential Real Estate Professional
Charles Rutenberg Realty - Clearwater, FL
Palm Harbor, Dunedin, Clearwater, Safety Harbor

The whole idea of having a green lawn is a dumb one anyway. If you want to grow something, it should be something you can eat. Grass cannot be ingested. I have never understood the lawn thing to begin with.

Jun 18, 2015 07:42 AM
Blatt + Cutino
Coldwell Banker Realty - Monterey, CA
Broker-Associate 831/206-8070*Call today*

Hi Jayne, I am not that far away from you and the sitution is the same here on the Monterey Peninsula. Last week I was visiting family in Ohio - wow is it Green there! I had lots of comments about the drought and how are we surviving it - also a month ago I was in Alasaka -- lots of water there too..wish there was a way to bring all that water here. I believe that it is so hard for people across the nation to relate to us here in California. They think we are a bunch of complainers anyway. Here is a link to the water usage requirements and cutbacks

Jun 29, 2015 10:15 PM
Sharon Parisi
United Real Estate Dallas - Dallas, TX
Dallas Homes

Jayne, I am following all the California stories.  I remember my grandmothers scraping dishes, with no water running.  They would then fill the sink, or a vessel if the number of items was small, and soak the items. The items were them quickly rinsed. Water was recycled, as you mentioned. It is so easy to turn the water off when brushing your teeth, or washing your face, etc..  Barbara-Jo makes a good point.  Grow things you can eat!

Jul 19, 2015 03:23 AM
Robert Vegas Bob Swetz
Las Vegas, NV

Hello Jayne and yes it is very dry around the Bay Area  And I think if I was to open up a business that converts front & back yards into desert landscaping, I would make a million dollars in a very short time 

Aug 05, 2015 12:31 PM
John G. Johnston
John G. Johnston & Associates, LLC - Westcliffe, CO
An Exclusive Buyer's Agent ~ Westcliffe, CO

I realize I am commenting on an older post but you made great comments.  How times can change...either drought or floods.  Life goes on!  Enjoy your day Jayne Esposito 

Jan 18, 2016 10:44 AM