Easy Ways to Save Water in California's Drought

The largest agriculture-producing state in the country continues its battle with the worst drought it"s ever seen.

As California faces its worst drought in the last four centuries, residents are looking for effective ways to conserve water. Consumption has been cut drastically since April 2015 when the state mandated cuts in the urban water usage due to the Sierra snowpack level being 92% lower than usual levels. Visit the US Drought Monitor for the current drought conditions here: droughtmonitor.unl.edu Here are a few easy ways Californians can save water and avoid costly bills:

1. Check for Leaks Do a thorough check of your plumbing, including dripping faucets, pipes, and joints to make sure there are no leaks. Some of these leaks can waste as much as 20 gallons of water per day. Some leaks can be easily fixed with sealants.

2. Buy Eco-friendly Products Look for products that contribute to an eco-friendly lifestyle such as green shower heads that conserve water, and inserts for toilets that reduce the volume of water used per flush (see below).

3. Take Short Showers And Quick Handwashes Be conscious and avoid long showers, which are usually unnecessary. Set a time limit for allowing the water to run. For every minute you reduce, you will save 2.5 gallons of water. Also, turn off the water when lathering your hands; it’s only needed to wet them pror to soaping and to rinse them after.

4. Install Small Flushes Every toilet flush consumes between 3.5 and 7 gallons of water, which can equate to three minutes of showering. It is advisable to install a small flush in your toilet, which doesn’t require excessive amounts of water.

5. Fill Up the Dishwasher Use the dishwasher sparingly once it becomes full. You can save even more water by washing dishes by hand. When cooking meals think about using fewer pots and pans.

6. Limit Washing Machine to Full Load Your washing machine uses a lot of water at every turn, so try only washing full loads. If the machine has a water-save setting, use it. If not, consider buying a modern washing machine since it can save 25 gallons of water on each load.

7. Don"t Overuse the Hose Outdoor hoses should be used sparingly and there is no need to wash down the driveway. And consider “Going Brown”: changing your lawns to artificial turf, or drought resistant, low water utilizing plants.

Family Health Care


Peter Kim, MD

Dr. Kim,  is the Medical Director of Family Care Centers, Former Chair of the Department of Family Medicine at Hoag Hospital, and a recipient of the Physicians of Excellence award from the Orange County Medical Association. He is Board Certified in Family Medicine, and has been practicing in our community for over 20 years. He is an excellent, caring, and well­qualified physician who is dedicated to providing you with superior health care. A native of Los Angeles, he graduated from UCLA and received his medical training at the LAC­USC Medical Center. After completing his residency in Family Medicine, he accepted a sports medicine fellowship at San Jose Medical Center, an affiliate of Stanford University. He enjoys working with patients and families who are training or want to get back into an active lifestyle. Review Dr. Kim on: Facebook Google+ Yelp WebMD

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