County Declares Water Conservation Alert

The Board of Supervisors unanimously approved a resolution today seeking to increase water conservation efforts within the County, with the goal of achieving a significant reduction in overall water demand.

The resolution declares a Countywide Water Supply and Conservation Alert, and urges County residents, businesses, water suppliers, and cities to intensify water conservation efforts. In addition, all County departments now have the directive to immediately implement conservation measures to achieve a 15 to 20 percent reduction in water demand.

On June 10, Supervisor Knabe responded to Governor Schwarzenegger’s proclamation of a statewide drought by directing County leaders to immediately reduce water usage in hundreds of County-owned facilities. In response to the Supervisor Knabe’s motion, the Department of Public Works, in conjunction with the Departments of Internal Services, Parks and Recreation, and Regional Planning, submitted recommendations to immediately reduce water usage in the County. The first recommendation of the report was to declare a Countywide Water Supply and Conservation Alert.

This water problem is not going to go away, and if we ignore it is only going to get worse, said Supervisor Knabe. This Countywide alert not only seeks to raise public awareness of this critical issue, but it also ensures that the County is doing its part in reducing water usage.

10 Easy Tips To Reduce Water Consumption

1. Shorten your watering cycles. Up to 70 percent of residential water use goes to maintaining our yards. Taking one minute off a ten-minute cycle saves ten percent.

2. Check your sprinkler system. Do a weekly check for broken or clogged sprinkler heads and replace them right away. Make sure you are watering your yard and not the driveway or sidewalk.

3. Fix those leaks. Just a drip can waste more than 10,000 gallons per month. A leaking flapper on a toilet also increases flows at the water treatment plant.
4. Plant native species or drought-tolerant plants. Many of the lawns and plants we use are not intended for the unique climate in Southern California.

5. Use a broom instead of a hose. Sweeping up rather than hosing off leaves or grass clippings not only saves water, it reduces runoff.

6. Get an adjustable hose nozzle for outdoor use. With one of these you can adjust the spray to meet your needs. A hose running for five minutes uses the same amount of water as a 20-minute shower.

7. Eliminate runoff. Runoff could mean your lawn needs aeration. When you aerate your lawn, you give the water somewhere to go besides down the storm drain.

8. Take shorter showers. Cutting two minutes off your shower time can save 600 gallons a month for a family of four. If you change the showerhead to a water efficient model, you could save even more.

9. Turn off the water while you brush your teeth or shave.

10. Wash only full loads of laundry or dishes. Waiting until you have a full load can save you up to 20 gallons for the same amount of clean clothes.