Easy Tips For Water Conservation

Water Conservation

Let’s face it, periodic droughts are a fact of life in San Diego and Southern California in general, and that makes water conservation all Californians responsibility. Fortunately there is a lot that we can do to significantly decrease our water consumption without too much effort.  Not only will this help you do your part to keep our reservoirs full, but it can also help keep your wallet full! Droughts can even be an opportunity to save some major money on home improvement if you play your cards right!


During drought years, water authorities have various measures that they enact in order to get people to conserve water.  During severe droughts they can even impose hefty fines (often hundreds of dollars!) on people with excessive water usage, so building good water conservation habits can help save a lot of money above and beyond what you’ll save on your monthly water bill.  There’s also very good news if you have been wanting to do some remodeling or landscaping; during droughts your water authority will often offer significant rebates on items that help conserve water.  You can save a lot on home improvement projects if you take advantage of these rebates!  So without further adieu, we at the Katie Hawkes Group would like to offer some tips for easy water conservation.


Water Saving Tips

1. Don’t let the water run while washing dishes.  This is huge!  By simply using separate wash and rinse basins you can save 20 gallons or more every time you wash dishes!  Along the same lines, soak your pots and pans instead of scouring them under running water.

2. If you have a dishwasher, use it.  Dishwashers are typically more efficient than hand washing.

3. Use leftover water for plants.  If you need to run your faucet to get hot water, just catch the cold water in a pitcher or other container and use it to water house plants.  You can also use water from a cooking pot that would otherwise be poured down the drain.  As long as it isn’t salty your plants will thank you, and you can cut back on dedicated watering.

4. Turn off the water while brushing. Even though brushing only takes a minute or two, for a family of four this simple adjustment can save upwards of 20 gallons a day!

5. Only run the dishwasher when full. Most dishwashers use the same amount of water no matter how full they are.  Washing only when full will make sure that you get the most out of the water that you do use.


Water Authority Rebates

succulent cactus garden for water conservation

Cactus and succulent gardens can be remarkably colorful

Whether you’ve been wanting to do some landscaping or remodeling or simply want to do your part to conserve water, the various California water authorities can help you do it by offering significant rebates.  Be aware that in most cases you must apply for the rebate before starting work!

1. Replace turf ($2/sq. ft.). Grass drinks up a lot of water.  If you’d like to do some landscaping, consider replacing your turf with alternatives.  Succulent gardens populated with native plants can be incredibly colorful, and require only a small fraction of the water (and maintenance!).  Not only that, but SoCal WaterSmart and the City of San Diego are offering rebates of $2 per square foot of replaced turf!  The maximum rebate is $3,000.

2. Install efficient irrigation ($0.30/sq. ft.). As of Sep 1, 2014 the City of San Diego will be offering 30 cents per square foot (currently $0.20) of covered area to convert from a standard overhead sprayer system to a so-called “Micro Irrigation” system such as micro-sprayers or drip systems.  The maximum rebate is for 2400 sq. ft or $480 dollars.

3. Irrigation Control ($80). SoCal WaterSmart is offering an $80 rebate for installing a water moisture sensor or irrigation controller.  This keeps your plants from being watered when they don’t need it, saving even more money on your water bill.

4. Rainwater storage (up to $400). Why let water dry up on the cement or run down a storm drain?  Collecting rain water in a storage system, even as simple as a barrel, will get you $1 per gallon of storage capacity.  Even better, your plants will like rain water better than the tap since it is naturally softer and doesn’t contain chlorine.

5. Water-efficient toilets ($100). If you’re installing or replacing a toilet, consider getting a water-efficient model.  Toilets that use 1.28 GPF or less may be eligible for a $100 rebate from SoCal WaterSmart.

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