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California Drought: Water Saving Tips

The save20gallons.org website offers essential water-saving tips for homes and businesses as county, region and state face severe drought.

Ideas to save water during the drought. (Photo: Sonoma Patch)
Ideas to save water during the drought. (Photo: Sonoma Patch)

The Santa Clara Valley Water District has created the save20gallons.org website that gives residential and business water-saving tips and a water saving calculator.

It's essential to consider the information as several Bay Area counties and California have been declared drought emergency areas by Gov. Jerry Brown, water officials say.

Here are the residential water-saving tips:

INDOORS:

  • Shorten your shower by just five minutes and you'll save 15 gallons—every time.
  • Install faucet aerators and low-flow showerheads and save 16 gallons a day.
  • Wait for full loads to wash clothes and dishes and save 20 gallons per load.
  • Fix leaks and save more than 15 gallons a day, per leak.
  • Install high-efficiency toilets and save 25 gallons a day.
  • Install a high-efficiency washing machine and save 20 gallons per load.
  • Turn off the faucet while shaving or brushing your teeth and save 2 gallons a minute.
  • Install water-efficient appliances to save water and you might qualify for rebates.

OUTDOORS:

  • Water your lawn before 5 a.m. instead of midday and save 20 gallons that would have been lost to evaporation.
  • Water your lawn only when needed, generally once every three days during the summer—reducing your watering time by just one minute saves 20 gallons.
  • Adjust your watering level to match the season. In autumn, cut your watering time by half and stop completely in the winter.
  • Landscape with water-wise plants and save 20 gallons a day.
  • Clean sidewalks with a broom not a hose and save 15 gallons.
  • Install drip irrigation for trees, shrubs and plants to save 20 gallons a day.

Here are the business water-saving tips: 


INDOORS: 

  • Let us help with the cost through the New Commercial Rebate Program. The program includes rebates for: Water Submeters - up to $100 per installed submeter, Commercial Clothes Washers - up to $400 per washer, Connectionless Food Steamers - up to $485 per steamer, Air-Cooled Ice Machines - up to $1,000 per ice machine, High-Efficiency Urinals - up to $300 per urinal, and a Measured Rebate - for equipment changes that result in water savings.
  • Get a new toilet—on us. Businesses, apartments and schools that currently have old, inefficient toilets are eligible for free toilets, urinal flush valves, and free installation through our Commercial High-Efficiency Toilet Program. Toilets installed through this program save an average of three gallons per flush.
  • Purchase or lease high-efficiency washing machines for common-area laundry rooms and Laundromats. High-efficiency washers save 20 gallons per load and qualify your business for a rebate up to $400 per unit through our Commercial Clothes Washer Rebate Program.
  • Install individual submeters for condominium complexes and mobile home parks that currently have one central water meter. We're offering a rebate of up to $100 per submeter installation. Submeters help individuals assess and reduce their water usage to meet the 20 gallons per person savings goal.

OUTDOORS:

  • Ask an Irrigation Surveyor. Free Landscape Survey Program has surveyors evaluate and suggest ways to better manage your outdoor water use. Surveys have shown potential savings of up to $1,000 per acre of landscape.
  • Purchase and install efficient irrigation equipment. Landscape Survey Program participants can receive rebates for the implementation of survey recommendations through our Landscape Rebate Program.
  • Install weather-based irrigation controllers. These controllers use local weather conditions to calculate and adjust a site-specific irrigation schedule. They not only help maximize water efficiency, they also qualify your business for rebates through the Landscape Rebate Program. Studies have shown outdoor water savings of up to 15-20 percent from these devices.
  • Replace high-water using landscapes with water-wise plants and/or permeable hardscape for a 15-20 percent reduction in irrigation water use and qualify for rebates of up to $20,000 through Landscape Rebate Program.

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