In April, Gov. Jerry Brown urged Californians to cut residential water use by 25 percent, but in May water saving strategies led to a 28.9 percent decline in statewide water use from the 2013 levels.
Authorities were surprised to learn that California residents were so responsive to water conservation programs in a state well-known for its squeaky-clean sports cars, flawless lawns, and hot tubs.
But the residents in Bay Area were even more responsive – they managed to save nearly 32 percent. Additionally, Hillsborough, a town famed for its water wastefulness surprised just about everyone with a 49 percent of water savings.
“Californians are creative. We can fix the leaks, let the lawn go brown, and take shorter showers,”
said Felicia Marcus, head of the State Water Resources Control Board.
Experts explained that big changes are necessarily group changes, but the May results were more likely linked to lower temperatures. Last month’s savings are the largest in five months. In December, California cut water waste by 22.4 percent.
The success may also be due to a tight grip of local leaders. The city of Fresno has been fining and tirelessly monitoring any violation of watering restrictions.
In May alone, more than 28,500 water waste complaints were filed statewide. Those complaints triggered over 36,000 warnings and 1,786 tickets. Public campaigns also helped a great deal. The most successful awareness campaigns combined environmental horror scenarios with practical advice.
But Californians indeed are creative. One of them said that he has a huge stockpot in his kitchen sink which he uses to collect hot water used for dish washing to water his house plants.
Another Californian said that she doesn’t let a drop of water go to waste. She explained that she even uses the undrinkable water in her dog’s bowl to water house plants. Additionally, fewer toilet flushes can make a huge difference, other residents say.
Moreover, Californians let their lawns turn brown or transform them in something more drought resistant. Buying drought-resistant plants is also a national trend. In Hillsborough, residents are barred from using sprinklers more than twice a week, so many have designed drip irrigation systems and reuse their bathtub water to keep plants alive.
But there are countless solutions that can help California cut water waste. Experts recommend people should check toilets and sinks for leaks, use water meters, install water-saving shower heads, insulate water pipe so they won’t waste heat and have hot water in no time, and don’t let the faucet run when they brush teeth or peel vegetables.
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