10 Water-Saving New Year’s Resolutions
Thanks you for caring about your water supply!
We appreciate our community’s continued efforts in embracing a water-wise lifestyle.
Here are 10 ways to save water in the New Year.
1. KNOW WHERE YOUR WATER IS WASTED
About 25% percent of residential water use in our community occurs outside of the house, and outdoor watering is often the culprit of wasted water. One of the best and easiest ways to save water is to limit outdoor water waste.
2. DON’T WATER WHEN IT RAINS!
Perhaps it’s obvious, but we’ve all seen sprinklers running during rainstorms or in the hours following a substantial downpour. If this happens to you, install a rain sensor device and connect it to your irrigation timer so that the sprinklers will shut off when it’s raining. Rebates may be available from your Water District for rain sensors.
3. WATER LESS (OR NOT AT ALL) IN WINTER!
Set your sprinklers for one watering a week in the morning, and water in short bursts. Watering at dawn reduces the chance of evaporation in the hot afternoon sun, and watering in short bursts allows water to better soak into the ground and not run off your landscape.
4. REMOVE YOUR GRASS
You can save tens of thousands of gallons of water every year by removing your natural grass lawn/turf and replacing it with native plants, drought-tolerant ornamental grasses, artificial grass or non-living groundcovers. Use the sheet mulching technique to remove the lawn with less effort and waste. Rebates are available for turf removal and homeowners can use the California Home Energy Renovation Opportunity (HERO) program loans to make this type of eco-friendly home improvement.
5. PLANT A CALIFORNIA NATIVE GARDEN
Replacing high-maintenance, extra-thirsty traditional yards and lawns with California native plants can reduce a home’s water consumption by 20 percent. Native gardens require less maintenance, don’t need chemical fertilizers and some can attract butterflies and hummingbirds! Visit the UCSC Arboretum for inspiration you can touch or visit our virtual plant database for native plant choices.
6. SLOW, SPREAD, CATCH AND SINK THAT RAIN
One of the keys to a successful, drought-resistant garden is keeping more of the rainwater we receive in the garden where it can do the most good. That way you’ll irrigate less and conserve more. Consider digging a swale lined with rocks in the garden. A swale is a low area in the yard designed to slow, spread, and sink rainwater into the soil. Use rain barrels to capture rain from your roof for use on your landscaping. Pick up a free copy of the Slow it, Spread it, Sink it! A Homeowner’s Guide to Greening Stormwater Runoff or download a copy from the Resource Conservation Districts website (scroll down once you click the link). Rebates may be available from your water district for rain barrels and downspout re-direct hoses from your Water District.
7. USE A BROOM AND A BUCKET, NOT A HOSE
Using a broom instead of a hose to clean driveways and sidewalks. Don’t run the hose while washing your car. Use a bucket of water and a quick hose rinse – with an automatic shutoff nozzle on the hose – at the end, which saves 150 gallons each time. For a two-car family, that adds up to 1,200 gallons a month. Most Water Districts require a shut off nozzle on all hoses and offer them free of charge to all customers. Drop in your local Water District office to pick one or two up for your hoses.
8. SWITCH TO AN ULTRA-HIGH EFFICIENCY TOILET (UHET)
Ultra-high efficiency toilets are much more efficient than their earlier counterparts, but you can save even more water by opting for an UHET that uses 1 gallon or less per flush. This is another resolution that you only have to do once to reap the benefits for years to come, and it is another one that can land you a nice rebate for taking the initiative and making this water-saving change. Rebates are available from most districts.
9. SHORTEN YOUR SHOWERS
Even a one or two minute reduction per shower can save up to 700 gallons per month, for a family of four. Save up to 200 to 300 gallons per month by using a bucket or watering can to capture what you waste while waiting for the shower or sink water to warm up, and use it to flush the toilet, on house-plants or in your garden. Many Water Districts offer a free water-wise house call and provide free water saving devices for your shower and other areas throughout the house. Find the free resources available to you.
10. LOCATE THE LEAKS
Don’t let minor water leaks in your home go unfixed. You can save 20 gallons of water per day for every minor leak fixed, and a leaky toilet can waste up to 200 gallons of water per day. The most common toilet leak is from around old flappers (the rubber seal inside the tank). You can get a free toilet flapper replacement during a water-wise house call. Find the free resources available to you or use our online Fix A Leak guide to get started right away!