About 25 years ago Atascadero pretty much led the rest of San Luis Obispo County’s communities in reducing the amount of refuse that was being hauled to the landfill. We worked hard as a community to consciously reuse and recycle.
Now I hear we are doing a pretty good job of reducing the amount of water we use. A figure tossed around recently is that this community has reduced its water usage by 50 percent since May. I like that little “history” of water use they include with the water bill to let you know how you are doing. So far I’ve been under last year’s usage all but one month since January.
Living in a small condo with relatively no yard, it is pretty easy to get by on little water, seeing that the majority of water use goes to landscaping. I have worked with a professional sprinkler guy who changed a number of sprinkler heads in our small nine-unit complex to see if our association can make some reduction in our consumption of this precious commodity. Our “expert” replaced sprinkler heads that need up to five gallons a minute with ones that draw maybe one or two gallons a minute. They appear to cover the same area so I’m anxious to see the next homeowners’ association bill to see if we’ve made any progress. Because we have nine condos irrigated by a common irrigation system, we couldn’t really go to the odd-even address kind of watering. So we’ve set the whole system on every other day.
As an experiment I washed my small truck using a bucket of water and one of those big sponges like the tile guy uses to wipe and spread grout. It worked OK, but I wouldn’t want to do it with a car with an expensive paint job because I’m sure I’d scratch the surface with wash water that was kind of dirty.
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My wife and I are trying to change some of our other habits such as frequency of flushing the toilets, not running the water when we brush our teeth and using less in washing dishes.
Lately I’ve been thinking that the money this state is going to spend on a high-speed rail would go a long way toward the development of desalinization plants along the California coast. That’s a mighty big pool of water out there.
And finally, how about the water company giving rebates to those of us who are bald. We don’t waste water washing hair we don’t have.