Those of you who know me understand how passionate I am about preserving our environment through nurture and conservation. I believe there are many natural methods we can use to make our lawns greener and healthier without adding harmful chemicals to the mix. I also believe that we should conserve the resources we have been given. We are stewards of this planet and as such it is our job to not only take care of it for our basic survival needs, but also ensure it thrives for future generations as well as is aesthetically pleasing.
With that in mind, I want to share a bit about water conservation. California has experienced an unprecedented drought for the past three years. Since 2011, we have received very little rain and it is starting to show, big time. A few weeks ago I posted a pic on Facebook showing the Bidwell Bar Bridge that passes over Lake Oroville. The pic was taken near Bidwell Marina and shows the reality of how this drought has affected us. Here are the pics again in case you missed the facebook post.
That is a pretty stark comparison right? The first pic shows the lake in 2011 while the second one taken this year shows the lake at it’s current water level. Now I understand that we have had a few hefty rainstorms as of late, but these have been described as merely a “drop in the bucket”. If we Californians continue using water at our current level, there is growing concern that some towns might actually run out of drinking water. This is not a conspiracy theory, this is a scientific fact. It’s also one of the reasons I did not participate in the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge. I am a fan of raising money for charity and I did make my own $100 donation towards the cause. I just can not in good conscience participate in something that might cause a daisy chain event where hundreds or thousands of gallons of water are wasted when we are under such extreme drought conditions.
The point of all of this is to say that in order for anything significant to happen, significant action must be taken. My fair city of Sacramento is taking action. They have implemented a stage two water shortage contingency plan.
The short version of the plan is as follows:
- Watering is reduced to two days per week
- Odd-numbered addresses must limit watering to Tuesdays and Saturdays
- Even-numbered addresses are to water on Wednesdays and Sundays
- No automatic irrigation watering is to happen on Mondays, Thursdays, or Fridays (This does not limit hand watering since it’s difficult to over use and waste hand watering)
- All watering is to be done prior to 10 AM or after 7 PM (Since evaporation of irrigation water is greatly reduced during these times.)
- No over watering is permitted. This typically applies to things like watering your lawn and having run-off that spills onto the side walk, street, or gutter.
If you are a Californian, check your local municipality’s website or that of the county in which you live. Then simply comply. It is incumbent upon all of us to take decisive action so that the situation as a whole will improve.
If you do not live in California, there are still ways you can contribute. After all, water is one of those universal resources that we all use. Consider installing a rain barrel outside of your house and use the collected water for your garden or plants. This conserves fresh water aka drinking water. If your soil is predominantly clay based you might also consider installing drip irrigation as a means to water your shrubs or other plants around the exterior of your home. Drip irrigation is efficient and just as effective as traditional spray or what we call “overhead watering”. If properly installed and managed, drip irrigation can be highly efficient and effective. There are other things you can do to conserve water as well, but my point is simply to raise our awareness of the issue. If we think about how we use water in our own homes, and develop a plan to conserve it, then we will make a difference.
Little by little.