I can’t help thinking about water, or the lack of it.
It is supposed to be raining outside by Tuesday morning, with a chance of some more by the weekend.
It is a good thing, getting concerned about water and especially how we can all work together to save it.
Every time I write anything about water conservation, someone contacts me with an idea on how to conserve this very special resource.
Most recently, a man called me to suggest that beneath every sink in every household there is a water-saving device — those valves protruding from the wall. He contends that if we would screw them (turn the faucet handle to the right) in halfway to the “off” position, we’d save a lot of money. There would be less water at the tap.
Relying on the faucets above the sink doesn’t work, he believes, because in most cases there is so much water pressure it just comes out harder than need be. Atascadero has very high water pressure.
I’ve opened and closed enough of those valves beneath the kitchen and bathroom sinks to notice when they are not on “full” or “closed” they drip. In newer homes the valves should be OK. Anything that saves water is worth trying.
I live in a small townhouse condo, so when I want hot water in the upstairs bath, I have to run the faucet for a couple minutes until the hot water arrives.
Previously, I used that water to brush my teeth, turning it off as soon as it felt even slightly warm. But that seemed excessively wasteful, so I measured just how much water had to flow to turn from cold to warm. It was about 1.5 gallons a day, or more than 10 gallons a week.
I can use some of it to water the few outside plants in our postage-stamp-sized yard.
I even experimented and dumped the bucket into the tank on the toilet. It provided one flush. Flushing less and dumping this water on the plants will make a small difference. But the way I see it, it is helping.
We have turned off the irrigation for the small lawn area used by the nine families who live in our condo complex.
Maybe that’ll help, too.
And forming a groundwater management district for the Paso Robles area will help in a big way.
Maybe we can work harder to share water-saving ideas with each another as California slips into another period of drought.
There may be a shortage of water, but there is no shortage of readers out there with good ideas, large and small.