California is experiencing the worst drought since record keeping began in the 1840s. The governor, Jerry Brown, clearly expressed the inevitability of our situation in his recent State of the State speech, “Among all our uncertainties, weather is one of the most basic. We can’t control it. We can’t only live it, and now we have to live with a very serious drought of uncertain duration.”

Now is not the time to lament. As Californians we are resourceful and pragmatic individuals with the capacity to quickly take action. As citizens of the state, it is our responsibility to contribute to the solution through water conservation. As small and insignificant this contribution might be, it all adds up in helping ourselves get through this drought.

Here are a few ideas that at home, work/business or in our community that we can put into practice:

1. Be aware of your water usage. Either washing your hands in a public bathroom or at home taking a shower, use water wisely. Take shorter showers. Shut off faucets. Reduce water flow.

2. Review your irrigation system to make sure you are not overwatering or there aren’t any leaks.

3. Watering our lawns is where we can consumer large amounts of water. Consider changing turf to drought tolerant plants.

4. Water audit your facility (home or business) to find out where you can reduce water, then monitor your reduction through your water bill.

5. Wash your car at a commercial car washer that recycles water.

6. Scrape dishes rather than rinsing them before washing.

7. For leftover water such as ice cubes, pour it on a plant or use it for cleaning.

8. Visit your local water conservation website often for tips, updates and rebates. Stay educated on new techniques through workshops and classes.

9. Monitor leaks at your facility and shut off water in unused areas.

10. Install water-saving aerators on all your faucets.

11. Consider upgrading older toilets with high efficiency toilets.

12. Use home remedies to reduce water, such as placing a filled water bottle in the toilet’s water tank.

13. Check your water utility for rebates available in fixtures, equipment or facility audits.

14. If you are a business owner, develop water policy conservation for your operations. Provide incentives and resources to engage the stakeholders.

15. Compare water use when purchasing ice makers, dishwashers, coolers, cleaning equipment, or industrial equipment that uses water.

16. Consider purchasing appliances that have cycle and load size adjustments.

17. Support projects that use reclaimed water for irrigation and industrial use.

18. If you are a business owner, include water tips in your newsletters to remind your stakeholders about water conservation.

19. Publish your water savings progress in your monthly newsletters.

20. Direct water from rain gutters and HVAC systems to plants.

21. Use as little water as possible for cooking. It helps retain more nutrients.

22. Regularly maintain your equipment to increase efficiency.

23. Turn off the water while washing your hair.

24. Use a pool cover to prevent water loss through evaporation

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