Drought. Drought. Drought. Everyone loves to talk about the drought. The news screams that California will run out of water in a year but then we are left with little information about how to help. We wish we knew the secret rain dance and could just share a YouTube video with everyone and solve the problem. Unfortunately, we don’t know any secret rain dances so we’ll just have to stick to good ole’ common sense.
Here are our top 5 ways you can help Los Angeles save water (and reduce your water bill). These are easy to do and no, we won’t ask you to switch out your shower head with one of those low-flow ones that never quite gets all the soap out of your hair.
1. Don’t Shower Your Life Away
We don’t know who takes these crazy 4 minute showers but they clearly don’t live in Los Angeles. The average Angeleno takes a shower of 8.2 minutes (according to Home Water Works). We don’t know what your average is but make a personal goal out of cutting a minute or two off of your shower time. Consider it a personal best kind of challenge.
2. Break the Car Wash Habit
Angelenos love our cars, they’re our second homes. The average hand car wash uses between 9-15 gallons of water that’s non-reclaimable. That’s if the car wash is using the new reclaim tanks. Ask your car wash if they use reclaimable water. If so, try and cut back to a once a month car wash.
3. NO Leaky
This is a big one. You know that little drip, drip, drip out of your faucet that’s not really a nuisance but it’s been going for over a month now? Yeah, that little drip of water could actually cost you BIG. If we cut out all of the leaks in our apartment buildings we could save over 5,000 gallons of water per building per year. We can’t do this without your help. If you have a leak in your apartment or notice one on the grounds fill out a maintenance request. We’ll be happy to fix it for you. 5,000 gallons per year, now that’s a big savings.
You can check how much your leak is costing you with this handy calculator from USGS.
4. The No Flush Approach
You may or may not have heard the old hippie saying, “If it’s yellow let it mellow, if it’s brown flush it down.” The Environmental Protection Agency notes that toilets are the biggest water guzzlers in the home (Hippies, Hollywood and the Flush Factor) and by following this one little ditty you can save between 1-3 gallons at a time. Something to consider while you’re on the porcelain throne.
5. The Conservation Jug
This one is a little bit of work and requires the most forethought but comes in pretty handy around the house. Place a “conservation jug” next to your sinks and shower. While you’re running the water waiting for it to get hot (or cold whatever floats your boat) catch the water in the pitcher. You can use this saved water to water your plants, make ice cubes, fill the dogs water bowl, make a refreshing pitcher of lemonade, etc. The options are endless.
This is a group effort and if we all pitch in we can really make a difference. Now as a reward you should go watch Chinatown with Jack Nicholson and Faye Dunaway. It’s a classic!
We would love to hear your ideas about how to save water. Leave your tips in the comments section below.