Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Conserving water during our drought

Conservation of water may be something the city could add to its "Communication Plan".

San Jose Mercury News/Science and Environment/Paul Rogers, 1/20/14.  "California drought:  tips for conserving water."

So easy, a child and kitty can do it.
"Remember not flushing the toilet? Putting a bucket in the shower? It's time to dust off those tips, as California finds itself in a brutally dry spell. On Friday, following the lowest rainfall year in the state's 153-year history, and with the Sierra snow pack at 17 percent of normal, Gov. Jerry Brown called a drought emergency and asked California residents to cut their water use by 20 percent.    "It's pretty easy to save 20 percent. You want to remember that your plants -- even with it being dry outside -- are not needing as much water this time of year because it is cooler than in the summer," said Chris Brown, former executive director of the California Urban Water Conservation Council, a nonprofit group in Sacramento. "The easiest way to save water is to save it outdoors." 

In California, more than 50 percent of residential water use occurs outdoors. A typical lawn consumes about 57 inches of rain a year, according to the Association of California Water Agencies. Rain quenches some of that thirst, but it's not enough in most places. Both San Jose and Los Angeles receive 15 inches of rain in a normal year, for example, but last year each received barely 3 inches.

The average home in California uses 192 gallons of water a day, according to a 2008 study by the state Department of Water Resources and the Urban Water Conservation Council.   Read article. 

Water saving references -   Eartheasy, "25 ways to conserve water in the home and yard." EPA "water Sense/Kids,"Simple ways to save water."  American Water and Energy Savers, "Save water 49 ways".  Reference from the Mercury News article:  CA Department of  Water Resources and the Association of California Water Agencies,  Save our water/ or selection "Save Winter Water". 

Local reference North Coast County Water District, "News Updates and Information."

Note:  graphic from  Little Steps Publishing, book cover by author, illustrator Nicola Chait.

Posted by Kathy Meeh


Anonymous said...

There is no need for Pacificans to conserve water. The San Francisco water system from which Pacifica gets its water is still fine. Yes, Hetch Hetchy is not going to get the snow runoff it usually gets, but it's still a massive source of water and as it takes seven years for a drop of water to travel from the top of the watershed to your taps, a few down years here and there are not a problem.

Now, people out in the delta or valley who don't have an appropriate water supply for their population and agricultural activity may indeed need to conserve. But it's not like SF Water is going to give any excess it has to people in trouble so us saving water here will not help others.

Anonymous said...


You sound like your from SoCal.

Mark Twain said it best:

Whiskey was made for drinking.

Water was made for fighting over.

Hutch said...

Anon 932 that's flawed reasoning. You say we don't have a problem and there's no need to conserve but people in the valley DO have a problem.

Their problem is our problem. If they run dry protocall states we will share water.

Price will also increase more if we do not conserve

We live in a semi arid area with no natural water supply. We should ALWAYS conserve water even in non drought years.

Anonymous said...

Prices will increase if we DO conserve. At least that's what happened last time we had a severe drought. Water district revenues went down because we all conserved, so they had to raise rates to increase revenues to pay the bills.

Anonymous said...

Protocol says we share? Sounds like we lucky Northern Californians have a business opportunity.

Dan Murray said...

I think we all know pretty much how things will play out for us. Mandatory 20% cutbacks; fines for going over allotment; rates eventually raised because the water districts will still have fixed operating costs. NCCWD might not initiate all this, but the trickle down effect is going to hit our pocket books at some point.

Anonymous said...

And they just raised our water 7.5%. Can things be changed so the public has some input on rate increases? The water district is a kingdom unto itself.

Also, Southern Ca should have to fave rationing and rate increases first. It is our water they are taking to fill their swimming pools and water their lawns. Hit them first this time.

Anonymous said...

Water is the most important thing in life and yet we pay basically nothing for it. $4 for a single gallon of gas, but NCCWD will sell you nearly 1200 gallons of healthy, tasty water delivered to our taps for that same $4.

Anonymous said...

Yes, we will eventually pay a lot more for our water. Hopefully, never at four dollars a gallon.

Anonymous said...

We have an ocean full of water. So I suspect that the most we'd ever have to pay for water is about twice what we pay now. That would cover the energy cost for desalination.

So...I'd be paying $100/month for my family of four's water usage instead of the current $50. Oh my god, life is over!

Worrying about water is about the craziest thing a person living on the coast could ever worry about.

Hutch said...

Yeah 910 because I see desalination plants up and down the East & West coasts. You do know that they are crazy expensive to build? Upwards of 1 billion. Not to mention environmentally damaging. The coastal commission would have a cow.

So yeah, NOT worrying about water is a crazy thing in a semi arid regions with no real natural water supply.

Anonymous said...

Yeah, worrying about water is so crazy. We have all those desalination plants here on the coast. Oh wait, we don't have any. Maybe we should start worrying about that.

Anonymous said...

In our apartment complex, our water/sewage bill went up by 20% starting in January.
They tell us there are no leaks and this is just what we will pay now. I am now paying $75 for water in my small unit and I live alone.