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I wrote a post a couple of weeks ago about the severe drought in California and most of the comments I received suggested we get our water from the Pacific ocean. It sounds so simple doesn’t it? But if you seriously want to consider doing something like that you must think about these facts:
- The most important is the cost. Building a desalination plant will cost millions of dollars. Who will pay for that? I guarantee it will be you. You think your water bill is too high already? Wait until you get the bill for water coming from a desalination plant.
- It will require a tremendous amount of energy to purify saltwater.
- Where will the salty brine water be disposed of?
- The ocean intake pipe could pull in and kill all marine life along the 100 miles of California coastline, disrupting the already fragile ocean eco-system.
I spoke with Miriam Gordon, California State Director at Clean Water Action, about her thoughts on the California water crisis. Here is what she suggested that the average person can do:
1. Turn off the tap when you’re not using it.
2. Only run the washer or dishwasher when you have a full load.
3. Install low flow showerheads and toilets.
4. Purchase clothes washers and dishwashers that use less water.
5. Don’t flush the toilet with every use.
6. Turn off the automatic timer on the sprinkler during rainy season.
7. Plant drought-tolerant plants in your garden.
8. Install rain barrels to collect rainwater for watering your garden.
9. Recycle grey water and rainwater for use in your garden.
10. Never clean sidewalks and driveways using the hose; sweep instead
I know from personal experience that you can catch water coming from the hose of your washing machine during the rinse cycle and store it in containers.
There are rebates available to help you pay for bigger projects to make your property more water efficient. Here are a few to help you get started.
Toilet Rebate Program: BAWSCA.org
SoCal Water Smart.com
California didn’t get in this mess over night and who knows when or if we will get normal rainfall again, so I think it is in your best interest to start conserving water today.