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Help Save California's Water Now!
Patterson, it is time to adopt a new habit! One of our most important resources is in trouble and we need to do everything we can to protect it today and into the future.
Our state is facing severe water challenges, and many communities and ecosystems are suffering as a result. Environmental problems, the pressures of a growing population, and the effects of climate change are making it extremely difficult to keep water flowing reliably to our economy, our environment, our farms, and our communities.
State and local water managers are working on long-term solutions, including investments in our water infrastructure. But in the meantime, California needs every drop of water it can get, which is why we all need to do more to conserve water. Doing everything we can to save water today will go a long way toward helping our water supply situation while we move ahead with the necessary long-term fixes.
The good news is that it’s not difficult to save water in our daily lives. Just as Patterson residents have embraced solar photovoltaic panels, LED light bulbs, and green recycling, we can adopt habits to reduce our water use inside and outside our homes. As we have seen with Chevron’s WattzOn Capacity Project, small changes in our daily habits can make a big difference for Patterson.
In 2009, the California Department of Water Resources joined with the Association of California Water Agencies—450 public water agencies throughout the state—to form a statewide conservation and education program called “Save Our Water.” This effort is aimed at helping Californians learn about our water challenges and ways to save water inside and outside our homes.
For example, did you know that the typical Californian uses much more water outdoors than indoors? Watering the lawn, washing cars and cleaning off the driveway and patio use much more water than you might think. Simple changes to our behavior, such as watering only when your landscape needs it or using a broom instead of the hose on the driveway, can add up to big water savings for the state.
So join in this statewide effort to save California’s water. Plant water-wise landscaping, install a SMART irrigation controller, and take shorter showers. These are just a few of the easy ways we can all help to “save our water.”
For more information about how to conserve water or about the “Save Our Water” public education program, please visit www.saveourH2O.org or visit the city’s website at www.ci.patterson.ca.us.
Conserve Indoor Water Use
Water is essential to each of us every day. But it’s a limited resource, so we all need to rethink the way we use water on a daily basis. By following these water-saving tips inside your home, you can help save water every day:
· Use the washing machine for full loads only to save water and energy
· Install a water-efficient clothes washer Save: 16 Gallons/Load
· Washing dark clothes in cold water saves water and energy, and helps your clothes retain their color.
· Run the dishwasher only when full to save water and energy.
· Install a water- and energy-efficient dishwasher. Save: 3 to 8 Gallons/Load.
· Install aerators on the kitchen faucet to reduce flows to less than 1 gallon per minute.
· When washing dishes by hand, don’t let the water run. Fill one basin with wash water and the other with rinse water.
· Dishwashers typically use less water than washing dishes by hand.
· If your dishwasher is new, cut back on rinsing. Newer models clean more thoroughly than older ones.
· Soak pots and pans instead of letting the water run while you scrape them clean.
· Use the garbage disposal sparingly. Instead, compost vegetable food waste and save gallons every time.
· Wash your fruits and vegetables in a pan of water instead of running water from the tap.
· Don’t use running water to thaw food. Defrost food in the refrigerator.
· Keep a pitcher of drinking water in the refrigerator instead of running the tap.
· Cook food in as little water as possible. This also helps it retain more nutrients.
· Select the proper pan size for cooking. Large pans may require more cooking water than necessary.
· If you accidentally drop ice cubes, don’t throw them in the sink. Drop them in a house plant instead.
· Collect the water you use while rinsing fruit and vegetables. Use it to water house plants.
· Install low-flow shower heads. Save: 2.5 Gallons
· Take five minute showers instead of 10 minute showers. Save: 12.5 gallons with a low flow showerhead, 25 gallons with a standard 5.0 gallon per minute showerhead.
· Fill the bathtub halfway or less. Save: 12 Gallons
· When running a bath, plug the bathtub before turning on the water. Adjust the temperature as the tub fills.
· Install aerators on bathroom faucets. Save: 1.2 Gallons Per Person/Day
· Turn water off when brushing teeth or shaving. Save: Approximately 10 Gallons/Day
· Install a high-efficiency toilet. Save: 19 Gallons Per Person/Day
· Don't use the toilet as a wastebasket.
· Be sure to test your toilet for leaks at least once a year.
· Put food coloring in your toilet tank. If it seeps into the bowl without flushing, there’s a leak. Fix it and start saving gallons.
· Consider buying a dual-flush toilet. It has two flush options: a half-flush for liquid waste and a full-flush for solid waste.
· Plug the sink instead of running the water to rinse your razor and save up to 300 gallons a month.
· Turn off the water while washing your hair and save up to 150 gallons a month.
· When washing your hands, turn the water off while you lather.
· Take a (short) shower instead of a bath. A bathtub can use up to 70 gallons of water.
Conserve Outdoor Water Use
Most Californians think that they use more water indoors than outdoors. Typically, the opposite is true. In some areas, 50% or more of the water we use daily goes on lawns and outdoor landscaping. There are lots of ways to save water at home, but reducing the water you use outdoors can make the biggest difference of all. Here are a few easy ways to change the way you use water outside your home.
Know the Basics
· Water early in the morning or later in the evening when temperatures are cooler. Save: 25 gallons/each time you water
· Check your sprinkler system frequently and adjust sprinklers so only your lawn is watered and not the house, sidewalk, or street. Save: 15-12 gallons/each time you water
· Choose a water-efficient irrigation system such as drip irrigation for your trees, shrubs, and flowers. Save: 15 gallons/each time you water.
· Water deeply but less frequently to create healthier and stronger landscapes.
· Put a layer of mulch around trees and plants to reduce evaporation and keep the soil cool. Organic mulch also improves the soil and prevents weeds. Save: 20-30 gallons/each time you water/1,000 sq. ft.
· Plant drought-resistant trees and plants. Save: 30- 60 gallons/each time you water/1,000 sq. ft
One easy way to cut down how much water you use outdoors is to learn how much water your landscaping actually needs in order to thrive. Overwatering is one of the most common mistakes people make.
If you really want to be a sophisticated water user, invest in a weather-based irrigation controller—or a smart controller. These devices will automatically adjust the watering time and frequency based on soil moisture, rain, wind, and evaporation and transpiration rates. Check with your local water agency to see if there is a rebate available for the purchase of a smart controller.
Know Your Climate
One way to save water outdoors is to plant the right plants for your climate. Here are some tools to help you learn how to be a water-wise gardener:
· Explore the Save Our Water Water-Wise Garden Tool to learn what plants and flowers will flourish in your neighborhood.
Water is often a go-to tool for outdoor clean-up jobs.
· Use a broom to clean driveways, sidewalks and patios. Save: 8-18 gallons /minute.
· Wash cars/boats with a bucket, sponge, and hose with self-closing nozzle. Save: 8-18 gallons/minute.
· Invest in a water broom. If you have to use water to clean up outside, a water broom will attach to your hose but uses a combination of air and water pressure to aid cleaning. Water brooms can use as little as 2.8 gallons per minute (gpm) to remove dirt, food spills, leaves, and litter from concrete and asphalt while a standard hose typically uses 5 to 20 gpm.
For more information on water-wise sprinklers, visit Sprinklers 101.
Outdoor watering and toilets are the biggest users of water in and outside your home. In fact, during the summer half of all household water use is for the lawn and garden purposes. However, it is possible to dramatically reduce your water consumption, lower your water bill, and still have a beautiful, productive garden. The following steps can help you achieve these results:
Add organic matter to your soil. All soil is not created equal. Soil is essentially a collection of mineral particles of different sizes. If most of the particles are large (sand), water drains through rapidly. If most of the particles are small (clay), water will penetrate the soil much more slowly. The solution for either problem is the same: add organic matter. Organic matter, in the form of compost, chopped up leaves or composted manure will improve the texture and water-holding capacity of your soil. Add at least an inch of compost each year.
Deliver water to the root-zone. Drip irrigation and soaker hoses ensure that up to 90 percent of the water you apply to your garden is actually available to your plants. Sprinklers can claim only 40 to 50 percent efficiency. Drip irrigation minimizes evaporation loss and keeps the areas between plants dry, which also helps limit weed growth.
Use mulch to retain water. A six to eight-inch layer of organic mulch can cut water needs in half by smothering thirsty weeds and reducing evaporation. Organic mulches retain some water themselves and increase the humidity level around plants.
Use free water. Rainwater is the best choice for your plants. It's clear, unchlorinated and free. Use rain barrels or a cistern to collect water from your downspouts. A 1,000 square foot roof will yield 625 gallons of water from one inch of rain.
Reduce your lawn. Turf grass is one of the most water and labor-intensive types of "gardens" you can have. Consider planting groundcovers or low-maintenance perennials instead.
Plan before you plant. By planning your garden before you plant, you can take advantage of the characteristics of your site, such as sun, shade, wind and soil. Group plants with similar water needs. Also consider how your plants will get the water they need. Will you need to carry water to demanding plants in a remote corner of your yard? Planning will save you time and energy down the road.
Choose plant carefully. A plant that's satisfied getting most of the water it needs from natural rainfall will require a lot less work from you. For drought-tolerant perennials, choose varieties that are native to your area (or a region with a similar climate). These plants will be naturally adapted for your local climate and soils.
Take good care of your plants. Healthy plants need less water, fertilizer and pest controls than stressed plants. By keeping on top of tasks, such as weeding, thinning, pruning and monitoring pests, you'll be able to ease off on watering (2014. Gardeners Supply Company).
For more information like this, please visit www.gardeners.com or see the links below.
Mandatory Watering Schedule
Our existing city ordinance discourages water waste such as overwatering of landscaping. Ordinanc also enforces odd-even watering, and use of irriation timers.
There shall be no watering or irrigating between the hours of 10:00am and 7:00pm any day of the week.
Persons residing in addressess ending in even numbers (0,2,4,6, and 8) shall water only on Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday, and Sunday, except during the hours when watering and irrigation is prohibted.
Persons residing in addressess ending in odd numbers (1,3,5,7,9) shall water only on Monday, Wednesday, Friday, and Sunday, except during the hours when watering and irrigation is prohibted.
Penalties for Water Waste
Any violation of the provisions of this section shall constitute an infraction and shall be punished by a fine of twenty-five dollars for the first violation after a warning in writing, fifty dollars for a second violation within one year and a fine of one hundred dollars for each additional violation within one year. The city, at its option, may discontinue the service after the third violation after giving the customer written notice.
Useful links regarding water conservation: