Written by Duncan Howell (News Writer)
Due to further drought and reduced rainfall in California, as of May 6th, the SLV water district has issued stage 2 conservation. For several years now California has suffered from low rates of rain. This past winter yielded 40% less rainfall than average. Due to the low abundance of water, SLV water is asking customers to reduce water usage whenever possible.
It is important to be aware of just how important it is to keep eater storage as full as possible. Due to the CZU lightning complex fires, large amounts of land are dry and have very low amounts of groundwater. In addition to the reduced rainfall, the area in which larger amounts of groundwater can be collected has been reduced. Retaining large amounts of water in storage is also important for fire fighting efforts. Once fire season starts, if any forest fires were to occur, having access to a source of water is critical to fighting forest fires. If water reserves run dry, efforts to contain fire will be pushed to a near standstill.
Many new guidelines have been put into place to combat the shortage of water. The majority of new restrictions are on outdoor water usage. First of all, customers of SLV water should avoid washing their cars. One should only wash their car at home if it is absolutely necessary. In a case where a customer genuinely needs to clean their vehicle, one should save as much water as possible. Limit the washing to one to two buckets of water with cleaner and use a towel and or sponge for the washing. Avoid using a hose to spray wash the vehicle. Only hose down your car as a means of rinsing off suds after one is done cleaning, but only if necessary.
The second guideline focuses on the watering of plants, gardens, and lawns. The water district has requested to limit the watering of plants to a maximum of two days a week. When watering lawns, it is advised to only give a minimum amount of water for the grass to live. Due to any browning of lawns due to reduced watering, the SLV water district has signs available. These signs say “Doing our part to save water.” These signs are free to anyone actively conserving water.”
While reduction of outdoor water usage is the main focus of water conservation restrictions in stage 2, it is also encouraged to use water-efficient home appliances and installations. One major action one can take if affordable, is to use low water appliances such as washing machines or dishwashers. Most regular washing machines, which usually spin vertically, use large amounts of water in every cycle. Switching to a water-saving version, usually spinning horizontally, is one way to help to conserve water. Similarly, using a water-saving dishwater is a good way to conserve water.
Aside from appliances, there are many smaller installations you can use to reduce your water usage. The most impactful of which are nozzles for water sources, such as sinks, taps, faucets, showers, etc. The way such attachments work is through water pressure and changing the spray of the output. While a normal showerhead may use a larger amount of water and be lower pressure, these attachments change its output so that a lower amount of water is used, which the pressure ensures no change in rinsing/cleaning properties.
While replacing the equipment and installations in your home may seem like quite a burden but is also beneficial economically. A water-saving showerhead attachment alone can save up to $80 a year. Combine this with other water-saving attachments and or appliances and this total goes up even more. While many people may not have the time or money to integrate such appliances into their homes, following the recommendations from the water district still makes an impact. Every household’s commitment to reducing water usage is important.