California drought: Here’s how to use 15% less water

Gov. Gavin Newsom asked California residents this month to voluntarily reduce their water use by 15%. What does this number mean for an average Bay Area household?

Based on 2020 estimates, an average Bay Area household of three individuals spends about 206 gallons of water per day. Reducing water use by 15% would mean using about 30 gallons less water per day.

We asked Tia Fleming, executive director, external affairs at California Water Efficiency Partnership and Heather Cooley, director of research at Pacific Institute, for tips and they offered some easy ways to meet the recommendation:

Check for leaks in faucets and toilets: A toilet leak can amount to 30 gallons per day

The amount of leak can vary considerably, but an average toilet leak will waste about 30 gallons per day. In extreme cases, a running toilet can leak as much as 4,800 gallons per day — more than 23 times daily average household usage. Other possible sources of leaks are shower heads, sinks, sprinklers, and even pipes.

Large leaks are easier to detect – you might notice it if you get an extraordinarily large water bill or if you hear any dripping noises or “ghost flushes” (in which a toilet makes a flushing noise but no one is using it). For smaller leaks, you could also turn off all running water and check the water meter to see if it still changes.

Water your garden one fewer time a week: This could save about 27 gallons of water

Watering a yard for an average Bay Area household takes about 27 gallons. Hotter regions or larger lawns may require more water. Avoiding the hotter times of the day could also make watering your garden more efficient.

Reduce shower time by two minutes: This could save 12 to 15 gallons of water a day

An average California shower head spews out 2 to 2.5 gallons of water per minute, which amounts to more than 20 gallons of water during a 10-minute shower. If each person in the household could shorten their showers by two minutes, an average household would save around 12 to 15 gallons per day.

Turn off the sink tap while brushing your teeth or shaving: This could save around 24 to 30 gallons of water a day

Water from sink faucets is generally known to flow at 2.5 gallons per minute. If you spend about a minute and a half brushing your teeth, leaving water running the whole time can waste around 4 gallons. If you brush your teeth twice a day and keep the sink faucet closed, you could save around 8 gallons. Similarly, turning off the tap while shaving can save 10 gallons of water per shave, assuming that shaving takes about four minutes. Multiply these numbers by three for the entire household.

Wash full loads of dishes using a dishwasher: This could save around 50 gallons per wash

Letting the water run while doing your dishes would use 2 to 2.5 gallons of water per minute, which would amount to more than 60 gallons if the …read more

Source:: The Mercury News – Entertainment


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