Even if you were to literally put your head in the sand, you can’t escape it – California is in a severe and historic drought, and this sure-to-be-hot summer is only going to make it worse.
We have all heard the usual advice on what we the people can do to conserve water – take shorter showers, collect extra water while rinsing, don’t use the hose to clean your driveways, and let your car get dirty. When you’re a homeowner, however, you need more than individual effort to maximize your water savings. You need the help of contractors to make changes to the three areas where household water use happens – the lawn, the kitchen, and the bathroom.
What can contractors do for your home and the drought?
- It’s time to seriously consider replacing your lawn altogether. Two of the most popular lawn replacements are drought-friendly plants and artificial turf. Warm-season grasses such as UC Verde Buffalograss and California Bentgrass look like traditional turf, but they use half the water.
- If you absolutely, positively can’t get rid of your lawn, be savvy about watering it. Install a “smart” sprinkler. These high-tech sprinklers – they use Wi-Fi to figure out local weather conditions – can cut water use by 30-50%. “Smart” sprinklers can also keep you within your city’s legal watering schedule. Sprinkle only before dawn and after dusk, and when you do enough to go down to the roots so that it doesn’t evaporate too quickly.
- The addition of organic material (such as mulch around the trees and plants) will increase your garden’s water absorption efficiency.
- If your faucet is leaking, fix it now! Just one leaky faucet can emit up to 20 gallons a day.
- Install faucets carrying the WaterSense® label. WaterSense® faucets use a maximum of 1.5 gallons per minute (gpm), whereas standard faucets use 2.2 gpm – a 30% difference. In certain California communities, you may be eligible for a rebate.
- Now is the time to buy the Energy Star® dishwasher, clothes washer, and dryer you’ve had your eye on – especially if your existing appliances are decades old. The Energy Star® label means gallons of water savings every year – and once again, they can earn you a rebate in California.
- Once again, a leaky faucet must be dealt with. The best thing to do is replace your faucets with WaterSense® products. Make sure the faucets have aerators, which use air to reduce the flow of water.
- If you don’t already have one, install a low-flow or dual-flush toilet. A low-flow toilet uses 1.6 gallons per flush (standard toilets use up to five or six), and WaterSense® toilets use even less – 1.28 gallons per flush. Dual-flush toilets provide two flushing options, using less water for liquid deposits.
- For the shower, install a low-flow showerhead, and make sure you have a tankless water heater so it doesn’t take as long to warm the water up.
Where can you find the landscape architects, turf installers, gardeners, plumbers, installers, and movers you’ll need? Where else but JobQuotes.com? We have the people you need to keep your home watertight – and you know you’ll be hiring the best on