One year ago, Governor Jerry Brown officially declared a drought emergency in California. This should come as no surprise to anyone who lives here (hellloooooo 90 degree January days)!
In fact, we no longer have a "fire season." They've become a year-round affair due to low winter and spring precipitation (which, this year, is vying for the lowest amount on record since the 50s).
I was recently in Yosemite, and roads that should have been closed up through May, due to snow, were open---in March. There was practically no ice. And I was able to stand in Mirror Lake (or what would have been the lake should there have been more than a glorified puddle there.)
While water conservation is something we should always be aiming for, it's now more important than ever to curb any excessive water use.
1. Don't let the faucet run while doing the dishes
2. Soak dishes with caked-on food before trying to scrape them off
3. If you're getting a new dishwasher, get a high-efficiency one
4. Only run the dishwasher when it's completely full
5. Designate a single drinking glass for water each day
6. Use an instant water heater or kettle for hot water rather than letting the faucet run while the water heats up
7. Wash most clothes in cold water
8. If you have a washer that allows you to pick load size, make sure it matches the amount of clothes so you don't use twice as much water as you need
9. Wear stuff multiple times if it's not dirty. Ex: jeans, sweatshirts, dresses, jackets, pajamas
10. Keep your showers short
11. Turn off the water when you brush your teeth
12. When washing your hands, turn the water off while lathering the soap
13. Get all your leaky taps and faucets fixed
14. Reuse your towels after showers
15. When running a bath, plug the tub THEN start the water
16. Use drip irrigation systems if you can
17. Group plants with similar water needs by each other to minimize waste
18. Plant native species--in CA, that means a lot of drought-resistant plants, succulants, and minimal "lawn area"
19. Use mulch on top of dirt around plants to help keep moisture in
20. Instead of covering your backyard with grass, create a "lawn" out of a low-water ground-cover like Lipia
21. Hardscape as much of your yard as posssible: Use sand, river stones, sandstone slabs, and other mineral material
22. Only water early in the morning or after the sun sets--otherwise the water evaporates before the plants can absorb it
23. Don't wash your car in your driveway
24. Sweep outdoor surfaces to clean them rather than hosing them off
25. When refreshing your pet's water dish, take the "old water" and use it on plants instead of dumping it down the drain
Let's follow Israel's lead.