So you may have heard that Governor Jerry Brown Declared on Friday, January 17 that we in California have a State Drought emergency. Click here for the LA Times article on this.
Two years of almost no rainfall has taken its toll on our water supplies making crop shortage and fires a real and present danger.
This mom has lived in this area her entire life and is well acquainted with the drought cycles. I remember summers where lake Cachuma was closed and our lawns were brown. The photos of Lake San Antonio I saw last week brought tears to my eyes as it is a puddle now. Inaction by politicians could be blamed as the average person simply enjoys the warmer weather and does not connect the dots as to what it means in the grand scheme.
However, I think we all have to pay attention to what is going on around us and realize mother nature warned us and for the most part we ignored her. This family didn't though. We have not really watered our lawn in a year. We did water the backyard because I had food producing plants, which fed the local squirrel and rabbit population, much to my irritation.
I will say we were not a good as we should have been. But now we have been asked to cut 20%. It's voluntary but this blogger urges you to treat as mandatory as we will face bad consequences as we hit summer. Here are some ideas to reduce water:
1. Stop watering lawns, best would be to remove the lawn and plant drought resistant landscaping. That way when the the drought is over water use for your yard will have no need to go up. Why is this important? We need to have long term strategies and be cognizant of the fact we live in a desert.
2. Don't use the hose to wash your car. Those car washing assembly lines typically recycle the water making them much more conservative of the water use than you can be at home.
3. Turn off the sink while brushing your teeth or shaving. There is absolutely no need to have water running down the drain while you brush. If you are shaving fill the sink with a little water and rinse your razor in that. I guarantee you will use less.
Say it gets to a point where these are not enough of a cutback and it may just get to that point in some parts of California. Here are some more, less appealing ideas.
1. Shower less often and use the Military shower model. First of all you actually produce more oil the more frequent you bathe. So stretching the time between showers may actually help skin issues. Next if it gets to this point we have to do what we have to do,. Have the kids share one tub of water. Or turn the water off between soaping and rinsing.
2. Hand wash your dishes in a tub or basin and use the dishwasher as a drying rack only. We use a more natural dish soap that has no harmful chemicals in it, so I could then use that water to water my lemon, orange and apple trees.
3. Flush less often. Sounds gross I know, but when you need to you need to.
Whatever happens we are in this together and depend on each other to be wise with our resources.