Monday, May 19, 2008

Water, Water Everywhere

We recently received notice from our water company, East Bay Municipal Utility District (EBMUD) that our water rates will be headed higher, thanks to a drought. Naturally, my response is to cut back on our water usage, which averages about 16,000 gallons (55,000 liters) per month year round. Here's what we're doing:

1) Lawn Sprinklers - Roughly half of our water usage during the summer months comes from watering our lawn and garden. Last night, I cut the number of sprinkler minutes from 10 down to 9, and set the timer to go off one hour earlier (which will mean less evaporation). Every week, I will check the lawn/garden, and reduce sprinkler time by 1 minute as long as our plants stay in good shape.

2) Bath - I've cut the amount of water I use during my nightly bath by 50%. This means no more soaking in the tub.

3) Toilet - Last month, our upstairs toilet broke. In order to flush it, I have to manually open the water valve at the base of the toilet. Due to the time it takes to fill the tank, I now flush the toilet only after Russell. Punky and I pee into the toilet, both in the morning and at night.

4) Dishwasher - I only run the dishwasher once a month, down from once every 2 weeks (it's an energy hog!). When I wash the dishes by hand, I now use a reduced flow of water.

5) Car Wash - I no longer wash the cars. I never did, anyway.

6) Laundry - I used to do my laundry without mixing my clothes with the rest of the family. Now I mix my clothes with the others, which I think means the washing machine is full most of the time.

I'll let you know what happens to our water usage in a couple of months.

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