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Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Water Rationing

By Suzanne O'Connor

Starting in January 2019, with the passing of Assembly Bill 1668, we will each be allocated 55 gallons per person, per day of water.  That amount drops to 50 gallons by 2030.

I’ve been pondering our water use numbers in this 3-person household. At 55 gallons per person, we have 165 gallons a day or 1155 gallons a week to work with.

Here some of our numbers in our roughly 1600 square foot living space on a 6000 sq ft lot.

Kitchen:
Your average dishwasher uses 4-6 gallons of water per cycle not including any rinsing done before hand.  We average 3-4 loads of dishes a week.
24 gallons per week.

We rinse our dishes and our kitchen sink daily, so we won’t get any bugs. I’m guessing, if we’re careful that’s an additional 2-4 gallons a day for rinsing the sink and dishes per day.
28 gallons per week. (Rounded up)

Cooking should add in another few gallons per week
3 gallons per week

Laundry:
Our 1990’s washing machine uses 38 gallons of water per wash. Right now I’m not willing to buy a new one because the new models are made of plastic, tend to break often, plus they take over an hour to wash a load, using a lot more electricity. Where my old model takes 28 minutes for a load. It has, also never broken down. We do 5-6 loads a week. I think I can keep that down to 5 loads most weeks.
225 gallons a week.

Bathroom:
Our low flow showerhead uses about 2 gallons of water per minute. So a 10-minute shower uses 20 gallons so that’s 60 gallons a day.
420 gallons a week.

Garden:
Landscaping water use is hard to figure. We already have drought tolerant gardens and only water for 8-10 minutes once a week with a few areas only needing water once a month.
During the Summer I tend to water more. During the winter much, much less, if at all…unless I have new plantings.

Figuring in my four sections of landscaping and how much I water now, it’s ranges 300-400 gallons a week. I might be able to do better.

Total so far, 1100 gallons per week! We’re still under the 1155 gallon allotment but close enough where we should do some more conservation.

Water Use Not Considered:
-Drinking Water Filtering use.
-Toilet use, Low flow.
-The occasional, needed hot bath.
-Car washing.
-Trash can / Trash bin cleaning.
-Pressure washing of the house and driveway 2x a year.
-Bathroom cleaning, (Shower /Toilet/ Sinks etc)

We do not know yet how this allotment is to be calculated. Daily? Monthly? Yearly? That has yet to be figured out by each Municipality.

Other Conservation Ideas:
- We don’t have to wash and condition our hair everyday, so shower use can be brought down to 7 minutes or less, 3 days a week per person.
- We could put a hose on our washer that would take the grey water out to the garden. That could save us 200 gallons a week, but could over water sections.
- We could get some water storage barrels to harness rain water. I think we’d need at least 4 to make it worthwhile.
- Further limit pressure washing house and driveway. Hard to ignore the dirt with Old Stucco
- Eliminate any car washing.
- Not flushing the toilet (for #1) in the middle of the night.

No matter how we feel about this, it’s time to get on board. Start planning how to use your water allotment. Rationing is now the law. Not planning ahead will cost ya!

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