This month’s unseasonably warm temperatures all around Southern California mean more trouble for the drought, which is entering its fourth year. Despite the storms in December, January was pretty dry, and it’s usually the wettest month of the year. February is no better. Warm weather has also held down the California snowpack needed to feed streams and rivers, leading to new forecasts that dry conditions will persist this year. Click here to read a recent newspaper article about a pair of new drought forecasts from two federal agencies.
As you know, the city of Ventura last September declared a Stage 3 Water Emergency requiring Ventura Water customers to cut their water use by 20 percent. While water use levels have fallen, they haven’t fallen nearly enough.
A better measure of how Ventura Water customers are doing on conservation is to compare this year’s water usage levels so far to those in 2013- before water conservation measures were requested and later, required. (Remember, the Ventura City Council first called for voluntary conservation in February 2014.)
Comparing January 2015 to the month of January 2013, water use declined by only 4.22 percent.
Let’s strive to make water conservation a daily, year-round habit for everyone! Here are some ways to make that happen in wintertime. More tips can he found at www.saveourwater.com.
- Change your sprinkler schedule: reduce watering or turn off the sprinklers. Lawns and plants don’t need as much water in the winter. Invest in a weather-based “smart” controller or high efficiency sprinklers which reportedly reduce water use by 30 percent.
- Find and fix leaks now. One way to find leaks is to read your water meter before and after a two-hour period when no water is being used. If the meter does not read exactly the same, you probably have a leak.
- Replace older 3.5 gallons-per-flush toilets with newer 1.3 gpf models, which can save an average of 10 gallons per day.
- Buy a rain barrel to collect and store rain water runoff. You can use this water for potted plants or to wash your car. Ventura Water and the city of Ventura offer residents a half-price discount for 60-gallon rain barrels. Get your vouchers by clicking here.From Ventura Water’s Pipeline, February 2015