In the most recent report from my local utility (Burbank, California Power and Water), residential water usage has declined 13.1% over the past two years. Here’s why.
1) Constant communication to residents and businesses from Burbank P & W on the importance of conserving water.
2) Offering free home audits to residents to identify ways to conserve.
3) Mandatory installation of 2.5 gpm showerheads, 2.0 gpm kitchen faucet aerators, 1.6 gpf (gallon per flush) toilets in all new, remodeled, and rental buildings.
4) Landscape watering allowed on only 3 days per week, and never between the hours of 9AM and 6PM when evaporation would be the greatest.
5) No use of hose to wash driveways.
6) Restaurants offer water to patrons only if requested and all hotels in the city must offer the option for guests to reuse towels and bed linens.
These measures–which are the law in my town–are clearly working. Consumption of water is declining. You can voluntarily decide to adopt some these on your own.
While there are a number of other municipalities that have put similar water-conservation measures into effect, I’ll be interested to see if measures such as these become more widely adopted throughout the country, and especially in major metropolitan areas where fresh water is in short supply.
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