Water Conservation Tips Resources for ACTION NOW
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- Understand your water use. Install a Flume flow meter and access real-time water usage data on your phone or computer. So highlights for example, if you have a leak or if you’ve left your hose dripping, and who in your family might be taking shower (because it gives you data by the minute). It’s easy to install and straps on to your existing water meter. Email Laura to set up a call or zoom if you have any questions.
- Rethinking water in your home, outside and inside. Develop your action plan using the tips below.
- KNOW THE WATER RESTRICTIONS!!!
Outside – Gardening
- Rebates and Installation Support! From irrigation controllers to turf removal – get money back for doing the right thing!
- Replace your lawn with our Cash for Grass rebate programs.
- Do a Landscape Plan Review, including downloadable Landscape Plan Review Packet and Excel worksheet. Find out how to have your best landscape with hardly any water.
- Marin Water has great Low-water Garden resources.
- Marin Master Gardeners is a TERRIFIC resource with a website full of information and a great help desk.
- Take advantage of information on Low-Water and Drought Tolerant Gardens.
- Install a greywater system that reuses laundry water for irrigation. Marin Water provides $100 discount for a Laundry to Landscape kit
- Apply mulch around shrubs and flower beds to reduce evaporation, promote plant growth and control weeds.
- Add compost or an organic matter to soil as necessary, to improve soil conditions and water retention.
Outside – Non-Gardening
- Rain Barrel and Cisterns Fact Sheet and Rebate application. Just one inch of rain on a 1,000 square-foot roof produces 600 gallons of runoff. Marin Water offers rebates for rain barrels and cisterns (.50/gallon of storage, up to $1,000 and not to exceed cost of barrel).
- Drive your beautifully dirty car. A dirty car is a badge of honor during a drought. Never wash cars at home but patronize car washes that recycle water. Pick up a Drive-it-Dirty car window clings available in the lobby of MW offices at 220 Nellen Ave., Corte Madera, CA 94925.
- Always use a broom to clean walkways, driveways, decks and porches, rather than hosing off these areas.
- Install a pool and/or spa cover to prevent evaporation and save energy. They really work! Get the rebate too!!!
- If you have knowledge to share on how to install a rain barrel, cistern or anything else, Become a Water Warrior Mentor
Overall – Inside
- Repair leaky faucets inside and outside
- Install a hot water recirculating device.
- Consider replacing old equipment (toilets, dishwashers, washing machines) with more water efficient ones
- Rethinking water means you ask how you can reduce or reuse every drop. Water plants with cooled down water from pasta or steaming veggies. Dump the dog water bowl on the plants… you get the idea.
In the Kitchen
- Washing Dishes by Hand. #1 don’t use clean water to pre-rinse dishes. Use a dish scraper and/or sink bucket to use “dirty water” to remove most of the food into compost*. Pre-clean ALL dirty dishes with this dirty water and drain. Soap up all dishes. Use clean water to rinse all dishes. You can then use that bucket of clean soapy water to wipe counters and clean. Use plant friendly detergents and then water your plants!
- Washing Dishes with dishwater. #1 don’t use clean water to pre-rinse dishes. Use scraper and/or sink bucket to use “dirty water” to remove most of the food in compost bin*. Most dishwashers can effectively clean dry scraped dishes. Dishwashers are very water efficient so FILL them and USE them (consider turning off heat).
- *Only use garbage disposal when necessary (they take water to run properly) — composting is a better option.
- Use the “light-wash” option and see if that works for you. Also, consider turning off Heat dry – the rinse cycle is hot so most of the water evaporates but you’ll save lots of energy.
- Rethinking water in the kitchen is easier when you use a sink bucket because you really pay attention to the water being used. Get creative.
- Peel and clean veggies in a bowl of water instead of cleaning under running water
- Keep drinking water in fridge so you don’t have to run tap while it cools
- Consider how you can use fewer dishes, like skip the fancy serving bowl and serve straight from the pot!
- If you have knowledge to share on how to reduce water consumption, and can help educate your neighbors, become a Water Warrior Mentor!
In the Bathroom
- Toilets are one of the top two water uses indoors – about 28%. Check for leaks (Use a simple toilet leak test), flush less often, and use captured “bucket water from shower” to flush. How to Make Your Toilet Waste Less Water including toilet dams.
- Showers and baths are the second biggest inside use – about 29%. Skip baths (they use about 50 gallons) altogether to bring that number close to 22%. Capture water while it’s heating up in buckets or pitchers and reuse. Take shorter showers. Use water shut-off valves (example) to turn off water while soaping. Use efficient shower heads*. Use less conditioner and don’t spend water rinsing excess.
- Use a shower timer* and limit to 5 minutes or less of running water time. Teach your kids to use it!
- Turn off faucet water when it is not directly in use. Consider placing a small container in the sink to capture water from various uses just to understand how much water you use to e.g., wash your face.
- Repair leaky faucets and install faucet aerators* to cut water consumption.
- If it’s yellow, let it mellow. Consider flushing toilets less often.
- Rinse your razor in the sink. Fill the bottom of the sink with just enough water. This will rinse your blade even better than running water.
- If your toilet is old, consider replacing it with a 1.28 gallon per flush model (e.g., Toto Aquia Dual Flush) (Watersense certified).
- If you have knowledge to share on installing shower cut off valves or fixing leaks, become a Water Warrior Mentor and help your neighbors learn how !
- Washing machines are among the top three water users in your home – about 22% of water use.
- Install a Laundry-to-Landscape: Greywater System. Marin Water offers $100 discount on greywater kit. Application
- Greywater Action workshops and additional resources.
- Run loads ONLY when full!
- Consider washing ONLY dirty items (e.g., can you wear those pants again?)
- When buying a new machine, buy a water saving model that can be adjusted to the load size
- and btw, only use cold water and “green” laundry products
- If you have knowledge to share on installing greywater systems, we need you!!! Become a Water Warrior Mentor and help your neighbors install one too!
- Rebates and Installation Support! From washing machines to pool&spa covers – get money back for doing the right thing!
- Understand Our Water Supply and Recycled Water
- Report Wasted Water. Tips for talking to your neighbor first but when all else fails…
- Water Watcher tracks water supply, reservoir levels and shows how WE are doing on our collective conservation targets.
*Marin Water offers FREE water-efficient hose shutoff nozzles, faucet aerators and showerheads for our customers. Email them at Conservation@MarinWater.org.
Are you a #SuperSaver? Share your #WaterSavingStory with Marin Water to be featured on Marin Water’s Super Saver page and their social media networks.
We appreciate every effort to save every drop. We want to hear from you. Got additional tips to share, comments, suggestions – bring it on!