Water is a resource that we take for granted until it becomes scarce. During droughts it is especially important to conserve water. Less rain means less water to recharge the City's underground water supplies. Even in normal conditions it is prudent to conserve water. There are many ways to voluntarily conserve water, so many that we could never list all of them on this website. The City has, however, developed this short list of water conservation techniques to help you think of ways to conserve water.
- Shorten your shower. Even a one or two minute reduction can save up to 700 gallons a minute.
- Use low-flow shower heads or flow restrictors in regular shower heads (saves up to 500-800 gal/min).
- When you can, take a shallow bath instead of a shower (saves 15-20 gal. each time).
- Put bathroom trash in the wastebasket and cigarettes in the ashtray instead of flushing them down the toilet (saves 400-600 gal/month).
- Displace water in the toilet tank so you use less with each flush (saves 5 gal. per day). You can do this with a plastic bottle of water weighed with pebbles.
- Check toilet for leaks by dropping dye tablets or food coloring into the tank. If color appears in the bowl without flushing, there is a leak that should be repaired (saves 200 gal/month).
- Turn off water while brushing your teeth (saves 3 gal/day).
- Rinse your razor with short blasts of water or by swishing it in a partially filled sink instead of running water while you shave (saves 3 gal/day).
- While you wait for hot water to come down the pipes, catch the flow in a watering can to use later on house plants or the garden (saves 100-300 gal/month).
- Fix leaking faucets and plumbing joints (saves 20 gal/day per leak).
- Run only full loads in the washing machine and dishwasher (saves 75-200 gal/week).
- Keep a bottle in the refrigerator for drinking instead of running the tap for cold water (saves 200-300 gal/month).
- Defrost frozen food without running water over the packages. Either plan ahead by placing frozen items in the refrigerator overnight or defrost in the microwave (saves 50-150 gal/month).
- Rinse vegetables in a filled sink or pan instead of under running water (saves 150-250 gal/month).
- Use the garbage disposal less and the garbage can more frequently (save 50-150 gal/month).
- When washing dishes by hand, use a spray device or short blasts instead of letting the water run for rinsing (saves 200-500 gal/month).
- When washing dishes by hand, use the least amount of detergent possible to minimize rinse water needed (saves 50-150 gal/month).
- Use mulch to cover bare ground in gardens and around trees to slow evaporation (saves 750-1,500 gal/month).
- Plant drought-resistant native trees and plants (saves 750-1,500 gal/month).
- Set lawn mower blades one notch higher since longer grass means less evaporation (saves 500-1,500 gal/month).
While these and other measures may not save a lot of water, every little bit helps when faced with drought conditions.