A message on behalf of Energy Upgrade California
Summer is here and it’s already a record breaker. 2012 to 2016 have been the driest years in California’s entire documented history, with last January being one of the driest months ever recorded and our March snowpack only 5% of average levels for the month. Southern California residents especially need to come together in order to face the challenges of this historic drought. Voluntary water use restrictions have failed to impact the severe shortage and it’s time for real change.
This may not be news to most Californians, but what can we do? We always encourage people to engage with policymakers about meaningful water policy, but Energy Upgrade California knows our communities actually have a lot of power to conserve when we need it most.
SaveOurWater.com has some great ideas to conserve water both indoors and outdoors by everything from simple tips like keeping a pitcher of water in the refrigerator rather than letting the tap run cold or plugging the bathtub right away before adjusting temperature, as well as more in-depth methods like installing low-flow shower heads and toilets.
Landscaping continues to be one of the foremost sources of water use. How many of us have seen neighbors and gardeners watering in the mid-day heat or noticed their vegetation isn't native to our region and their lush, green lawns persist quite unnaturally through the driest months of summer? Whether it's sprinklers that flood the sidewalks or hoses used to spray-down pavement, we know water waste when we see it.
The good thing is that we can do a lot to save water and money (who doesn’t like that) and we encourage Californians to check out the resources below to learn more about drought-tolerant plants and conservative irrigation techniques, and remember, it’s okay to strike up a neighborly conversation about the drought. This isn’t about judging or persecuting water-wasters, it’s about starting a dialogue in your community. You don’t have to be a nag, but do be a good neighbor; recommend the plumber who installed your low-flow showerhead or ask whether your neighbor knows about any of the rebate programs for drought-tolerant landscaping.
Lastly, conservation is the cheapest, quickest and most reliable way to increase water supplies in this unprecedented drought. Head to EnergyUpgradeCA.org, SaveOurWater.com, and BeWaterWise.com/calculator to learn more about water efficiency. Together we can all be a part of California’s sustainable future.
Eleni Petrow is an Environmental Policy and Green Urbanism Associate at Global Green, a national environmental non-profit proud to serve as an Ambassador for Energy Upgrade California.