We can all take ­simple steps to help conserve water

We can all take ­simple steps to help conserve water
San Luis Reservoir in Merced County. (Photo by Fredrick Lee on Unsplash.com)

CONTRA COSTA COUNTY, CA (Sept. 17, 2021) — With a historic drought upon us and reservoirs reaching critically low capacity across the state, it is more important than ever to conserve water and find ways to reduce consumption.

California’s rainy season continues to arrive later and with less water each year, so it’s essential that we all work together to preserve our water resources for the dry months to come.

Conserving water starts at home. With a few simple changes around the house, you can reduce your consumption.

One tried and true strategy is to keep a bucket in the bathroom to capture water as your shower warms up and use it to water plants at your home. Another is to wait to run the dishwasher or washing machine until you have a full load. Washing your car at a carwash, where water is recycled, is a simple and easy way to conserve as well.

If you’re looking to take your water conservation to the next level, one of the best ways is to reorient the landscaping to be drought-resistant. The biggest culprits are lawns, with thirsty, non-native grass.

Rebate programs

In my supervisorial district, the East Bay Municipal Utility District (EBMUD) and the Contra Costa Water District (CCWD) have been hard at work implementing programs and mobilizing resources for residents to help conserve water – specifically when it comes to the yard. Both water agencies have lawn-to-garden rebate programs. These will pay you by the square foot to replace grass with turf or more drought-resistant plants.

You can find more info at ebmud.com/water/conservation-and-rebates/ and ccwater.com/160/Lawn-to-Garden-Rebate.

The water districts offer professional expertise to help households conserve water as well. From the these websites, you can access experts  to help advise on ways you might be able to save water. They can offer ideas to improve your landscaping to be drought-resistant. Or they can help you access other resources such as water-saving devices like flow meters, educational opportunities and other rebates for water conservation.

Californians are all too familiar with the realities of living in a dry environment. However, since the last major drought in our state spanning 2011-’19, many more resources, rebates and opportunities are available.

If you have questions about water-saving techniques or need more information, contact EBMUD at 1-866-403-2683 and CCWD at 925-688-8000.

My office stands ready to assist as well in these efforts. You can reach us at 925-521-7100.

Let’s all do our part to make sure that we preserve our precious and limited water resources.

Karen Mitchoff is Contra Costa County District IV supervisor. Email questions or comments to Mitchoff at supervisormitchoff@bos.cccounty.us