Back to Basics with Brit: Rethinking Your Water Use

Written by Britini Osmonson, Contributing Writer
Photo of Lake Oroville in CA comparing the lake before and after the drought (Business Insider)
Photo of Lake Oroville in CA comparing the lake before and after the drought (Business Insider)

In southern California where I live, we are in the midst of a three-year record-breaking drought.

Cities up and down the state have been urged to cut back on business and individual water consumption, sometimes with penalties in the hundreds of dollars. It seems that even when we have had rainy days our meteorologists still preach that no significant change has been made to the urgent situation. Our reservoirs are drying up, the rivers are parched, and our farmers are especially feeling the heat, so to speak. While it is forecasted to be a record El Niño this winter, the rains haven’t begun yet. So I’ve gotten creative with my water use and offer you a few tips that you can implement even if your water situation isn’t urgent because, after all, it’s never wise to waste water.


Water Saving Tips:

  • Install a low-flow shower head and limit shower times to seven minutes. This combination of simple steps can save thousands of gallons of water over the course of a year.
  • Save yourself yet another trip to the tap and bring your toothbrush to your shower too!
  • When using the bathtub, don’t drain your used water. Instead, take this graywater out to your garden by the bucketful.
  • Use remaining water from steaming vegetables for the base of a soup.
  • Implement a simple rain catchment system in your backyard: has everything you need to know about this natural water storage solution and where to buy your supplies locally.
  • Run dishwashers and loads of laundry only when at maximum capacity.
  • Need to wash the car? Park it on the lawn and use biodegradable soap.
  • Reuse clothes and towels to lessen the frequency of laundering.
  • Compost, compost, compost! This organic matter (which can be created from your very own kitchen scraps) holds moisture in the soil which helps you cut down on your need to water.
  • Use a refillable (glass) water bottle instead of several glasses throughout the day for your drinking water.

Many of these steps require little action on your part and can result in a tremendous amount of water saved. What other water saving measures do you practice?


One Comment Add yours

  1. Very good ideas Brit. Here’s one I’ve used for years…..Use left over drinking water from my water glass to water a plant. It seems people don’t realize how much water we waste every day…..Notice how the golf courses and boulevards are kept green despite the lack of rain?


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