Saving Water, Saving Dollars: Sensible Solutions for Californians
Water California is in its fourth year of a major drought and experiencing one of the driest periods in its recorded history.
According to the U.S. Drought Monitor, 37 million people, or 95 percent of the state, are affected by severe drought conditions, with the arid Los Angeles basin facing even drier conditions known as “exceptional drought.”
These statistics sound daunting, but there are many ways we can use water more efficiently in our homes and businesses to help conserve this precious resource.
Finding a balance
My family and I strive to do our part every day. For instance, we water our outdoor plants with water collected from the dehumidifier and from the bath faucet as the water warms up for showers. We also take shorter showers and make sure that we don’t let the sink faucet run while we’re washing our hands or brushing our teeth—we only turn it on when we need it.
Beyond changing behaviors, we can also repair leaks and replace old or inefficient fixtures, such as showerheads, faucets and toilets. This saves not just water, but money.
To help consumers and businesses save water, EPA has partnered with industry and 115 cities and utilities in California under the WaterSense program. WaterSense educates users about how they can make efficient choices, encourages companies to make efficient Watersense-labeled products and services, and partners with water utilities to expand their conservation efforts.
"If we all save a few drops here and there, California will be in much better shape as we adapt to a changing climate."
The average family can save nearly 38,000 gallons of water per year by retrofitting their house with WaterSense labeled fixtures and ENERGY STAR certified clothes washers and dishwashers. If all the households in LA saved as much, the city could save at least 50 billion gallons a year—enough to serve more than 20 percent of its homes. Changing our yards to be California-friendly landscapes can help save even more water.
In addition to EPA’s WaterSense efforts, many utilities have their own water conservation and rebate programs. For example, Los Angeles Department of Water and Power offers rebates for high-efficiency toilets and clothes washers, showerheads, irrigation controls, and will give you free showerheads and aerators for your home or business.
Take a few minutes to see how you can save water in and around your home or business, whether it’s with a quick leak check, replacing an old toilet or checking for rebates. It may not sound like much, but if we all save a few drops here and there, California will be in much better shape as we adapt to a changing climate.