Fun with water conservation!
Although water conservation certainly isn't at the top of everyone's 'scintillating conversation' list, an article about Long Beach's declared water emergency in today's LA Times might move the topic up just a bit.
Los Angeles doesn't lie in a naturally wet region - annually, we can only expect about 16 inches of rain (which makes it sort of understandable that no one who lives out here seems to be able to drive on wet road), but some years are drier than others.
You've only had to stick your head out the window every so often to figure out that we're having a dry year. Actually, it's the driest year since rainfall records have been kept - since July of 2006, we've had only 4 inches of rain and we're being asked by the nice folks who manage our water to please stop using so damn much of it (actually, we're only being asked to cut our water usage by 10% which isn't that much) in the hopes that the rest of the city won't have to follow Long Beach's lead and start to restrict water usage.
This is one of the things we all should think about not doing any longer. When you hose off the sidewalk in front of your home or business, you use about 150 gallons of water every time you do it.
Hose off your sidewalks once a week, and that's 600 gallons of water every. single. month that you're wasting, you heartless bastard.
But even for those of us who reside in apartments and condos (and thus don't have sidewalks to hose off), we can still do our part to help conserve water:
By turning off the water when we brush our teeth, we'll save 3 gallons of water per day per person.
By shortening our showers by one to two minutes, we'll save 5 gallons per day per person.
By fixing leaky faucets, we'll save 20 gallons of water a day - per faucet.
Speaking of faucets, by capturing the water that runs while we're waiting for it to heat up and using that water to water plants, mop the floors or rinse the car after it's washed (you're not leaving the hose running while you wash the car, are you? That wastes 150 gallons each time you do it), you can save 200 gallons of water per month.
For all you gardeners out there, you can create your own custom watering schedule by logging on to the Metropolitan Water District site at http://bewaterwise.com and selecting the watering calculator. Or, if you're feeling really ambitious, you can tear out that grass (it's so five minutes ago) and replace it with native plants that are much more water efficient.
Also, you may be eligible for rebates when you install water saving devices in your home.
Let's all do our part to reduce water consumption and save some money, too!
Information available from the Metropolitan Water District at http://bewaterwise.com/rebates01.html
DWP water conservation tips available at http://www.ladwp.com/ladwp/cms/ladwp001257.jsp
Cracks photo by Mal Parkington via flickr
All other photos by Peggy Archer