According to Governor Gavin Newsom, California water restrictions could be coming soon. At the moment, water limitation is on a voluntary basis. However, with so many water wells running dry during drought season – this leniency could change, and fast.
For the first time in seven years, Southern California officials declare a water supply alert. In years past, the Los Angeles area has avoided water restrictions because of ample supplies. However, this avoidance may be coming to an end. According to The Los Angeles Times, the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California urged residents on Tuesday (August 17th) to use water more conservatively. This came just a day after U.S. officials declared the first-ever water shortage on the Colorado River. Lake Mead, a part of the Colorado River, is a key water source for Southern California (Los Angeles included). In fact, it’s the largest reservoir on the Colorado River. This particular water source falling into crisis has raised ear-popping alarm bells for officials. MWD Chief Operating Officer Deven Upadhyay proclaimed, “we cannot overstate the seriousness of this drought.”
Where We Stand
This water supply alert is in the third of four stages. Stage four entails actual mandatory water restrictions. In order to avoid these restrictions in California, residents will have to adapt fast to water limitations voluntarily. The good news is it’s fixable and we have a bit of time. “California is not going to be impacted next year at all. But maybe in 2023 and more likely in 2024 if the drought continues,” stated Bill Hasencamp, Manager of the Colorado River Resources for the Metropolitan Water District. In order to combat the crisis, residents of Southern California will have to reduce water use by at least 15% in the coming months.
Tips On How To Conserve Water
Here are some ways to cut back on water usage in order to avoid a California mandatory water restriction:
1) Limit Your Shower Use
2) Eliminate Baths / Replace with a Shower
Most people use about 30 gallons of water for a bath, according to The Sacramento Bee. This is nearly double the number of gallons used for the average shower. With this in mind, consider showering instead of taking a bath.
3) Do Not Leave Water Running When:
– Brushing your teeth
– Thoroughly washing your hands
4) Utilize Your Dishwasher, Washing Machine, & Other Water-Sufficient Appliances
An Energy Star certified dishwater uses as little as 3 gallons per load according to the Natural Resources Defense Council. Utilizing a dishwasher alone can save almost 5,000 gallons of water per year.
5) Do Not Water Your Grass / Limit Watering Your Lawn
Landscape irrigation is estimated to account for about 50% of annual residential water consumption statewide in California, according to the University of California, Division of Agriculture and Natural Resources. Cutting back on watering lawns and other greenery could have a profoundly positive impact on our water supply conservation.
6) Fix Leaking Taps and Toilets
The average leaky toilet can waste nearly 200 gallons of water per day. If you have a toilet in which you commonly hear the water running / recycling then this is a tell-tale sign you need to fix it.
7) Convert to Water & Energy-Saving Faucets & Shower Heads
Converting to a WaterSense label showerhead can save thousands of gallons of water per year according to the Environmental Protection Agency. Consider saving water by switching.
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