Posted Jun 4, 2015

Easy Ways to Cut Back on Water Usage During California’s Drought

If you live on the West Coast, you’ve likely seen the headlines about California’s unfortunate drought that is reaching record levels. Government officials are advising all California residents to cut back on their water usage- and there are many ways that you can help!

Easy Ways to Cut Back on Water Usage During California's Drought

Not only will this help your fellow citizens and California farmers, but cutting back on your water use is a simple way to go green. Here are some excellent water-saving tips for you and your roommates to try: 

Do a Thorough Check for Leaks in Your Apartment:

This includes inside, in places like the bathroom and kitchen, but also in outdoor areas.

Easy Ways to Cut Back on Water Usage During California's Drought - Do a Thorough Check for Leaks in Your Apartment

A leaky faucet isn’t good for the environment or your utility bills, so it’s in your best interest to identify possible leaks and then get them fixed as soon as you can. Looking at your water meter is also an excellent way to check for possible leaks.

Turn Off the Water When You Brush Your Teeth

On average, we brush our teeth for about two minutes. That may not seem like a long time to let the faucet run, but it actually wastes gallons of water every day.

Easy Ways to Cut Back on Water Usage During California's Drought - Turn Off the Water When You Brush Your Teeth

Simply remembering to turn off the faucet during your teeth-brushing sessions can save up to four gallons of water per minute, according to the Water Use It Wisely campaign.

Take Shorter Showers

A long, hot shower is luxurious, no doubt. But during a drought, it’s best to put those little luxuries on the back​ burner. According to Earth Easy, you can do this by turning off the shower while you’re lathering up, then turn it back on to rinse.

 

Easy Ways to Cut Back on Water Usage During California's Drought - Take Shorter Showers

This is an excellent idea for cutting back on water usage, as a four-minute shower can use approximately 20 to 40 gallons of water. If you really can’t part with your long shower, consider re-installing a shower head that uses less water.

Refill Water Bottles

Designate a glass or bottle for your daily drinking water at work or home, then refill it as needed.

Easy Ways to Cut Back on Water Usage During California's Drought - Refill Your Water Bottles

Not only does this cut back on plastic, but it also reduces the number of glasses you have to run through the dishwasher.

Only Do Laundry When You Have Enough Dirty Clothes for Full Loads

Easy Ways to Cut Back on Water Usage During California's Drought - Only Do Laundry When You Have Enough Dirty Clothes for Full Loads

According to the Lower Colorado River Authority, doing small loads of laundry uses twice as much water per pound of laundry compared to full loads. Go ahead, put laundry day off– Mother Nature will thank you.

Don’t Run the Faucet When Doing the Dishes

Fill up the basin with soapy water for your dirty dishes and wash them there or clear debris before placing them in the dishwasher. In most modern dishwashers, the pressure is good enough that your dishes, glasses, and plates don’t need much of a rinse anyway.

Easy Ways to Cut Back on Water Usage During California's Drought - Don't Run the Faucet When Doing the Dishes

If you’ve got some stubborn stains, simply relax and let them soak in the water for awhile rather than running the water and scrubbing away. After about 30 minutes of soaking, most stains should come right off.

Ditch the Garbage Disposal and Start Composting

Composting costs very little, it’s great for the environment and it uses no water.

Easy Ways to Cut Back on Water Usage During California's Drought - Ditch the Garbage Disposal and Start Composting

It also allows you to create your very own compost for landscaping, which is really great if your landlord lets you have a garden or you live in a neighborhood with a community garden.

Thaw Your Meat in the Fridge Overnight

Never use running water to defrost meat, as this is an unnecessary waste of water.

Easy Ways to Cut Back on Water Usage During California's Drought - Thaw Your Meat in the Fridge Overnight

If you need to thaw your meat quickly, fill up enough water to cover the package and then allow it to soak for a little while until it’s thawed.

Look for Apartments With a Front-loading Washer

Not only are these types of washers much easier on your clothes, but they use a lot less water.

Easy Ways to Cut Back on Water Usage During California's Drought - Look for Apartments with a Front Loading Washer

While you’re at it, make sure that the water level for your loads is appropriately matched to the size of your load, or if you only have a few items to clean, consider washing them in the sink by hand.

Use a Watering Can For Your Plants

Don’t use the hose, as this could cause you to over-water your plants and waste a lot of water.

Easy Ways to Cut Back on Water Usage During California's Drought - Use a Watering Can for Your Plants.jpg

Lastly, encourage everyone you know, including your roommates, to use less water. If everyone chips in to help reduce their water usage, California residents can work together to help alleviate the drought.

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Easy Ways to Cut Back on Water Usage During California's Drought

Rachel LaCroix

About

Rachel LaCroix is from the Music City, but she now calls the Windy City home. In her spare time, Rachel enjoys writing, reading, seeing local bands, frequenting Chicago eateries, playing with her adorable schnauzer and, most of all, traveling. She's seen Costa Rica to Copenhagen and loves it all!

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