The Big Dry: How Serious is California’s Drought?


Do you know what is affecting 37 million Californians in 2015?


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If you were in Southern California in December you will remember the rain. We

finally did have a few days of heavy rainfall, but that has not helped the fact that

we are still in a severe drought and the effects on over 37 million Californians is

still unknown. We do know that prolonged drought conditions in California are

increasing the risk for fires, landslides and contaminated water supplies.

California’s drought conditions are ramping up the risk for forest fires. Indirectly,

the increased risk of fires leads to the possibility of flooding and landslides. After

plants burn, they cover the forest floor with a residue that acts as a conduit for

water to flow. Then if you pour water on it, it will simply run right off. After forest

fires stop trees from holding soil, the soil enters our water supply and possibly

increasing the contamination of our freshwater.


A new analysis from NASA satellite data concluded that California would need 11

trillion gallons of water to recover from its three-year dry spell. That’s almost

equivalent to filling up Lake Meade, the United States largest reservoir, one and

a half times.


Our state needs much more rain and snow than we’ve experienced over the past

two years to end the drought in 2015. Californians, we must continue water

conservation practices.


Remember, every drop of water is important. Use water wisely. The drought is

on–turn your water off and take shorter showers or shower with a friend.

Here are 48 indoor tips from WaterUseItWisely on how you can save water. Use

the tips that work for you, it is a guide to help you conserve water.

If you like reading articles like this, please sign-up for my NEW newsletter to

learn more about how you can save water and other conservation measures.

Feel free to email me any questions at hello@elenachristopoulos.com.


1) When washing dishes by hand, don’t let the water run. Fill one basin with wash water and the other with rinse water.

2) Dishwashers typically use less water than washing dishes by hand. Now, Energy Star dishwashers save even more water and energy.

3) If your dishwasher is new, cut back on rinsing. Newer models clean more thoroughly than older ones.

4) Designate one glass for your drinking water each day, or refill a water bottle. This will cut down on the number of glasses to wash.

5) Soak pots and pans instead of letting the water run while you scrape them clean.

6) Use the garbage disposal sparingly. Instead, compost vegetable food waste and save gallons every time.

7) Wash your fruits and vegetables in a pan of water instead of running water from the tap.

8) Don’t use running water to thaw food. For water efficiency and food safety, defrost food in the refrigerator.

9) Install an instant water heater near your kitchen sink so you don’t have to run the water while it heats up. This also reduces energy costs.

10) Keep a pitcher of drinking water in the refrigerator instead of running the tap. This way, every drop goes down you and not the drain.

11) Cook food in as little water as possible. This also helps it retain more nutrients.

12) Select the proper pan size for cooking. Large pans may require more cooking water than necessary.

13) If you accidentally drop ice cubes, don’t throw them in the sink. Drop them in a house plant instead. Especially great for orchids.

14) Collect the water you use while rinsing fruit and vegetables. Use it to water house plants.

15) When doing laundry, match the water level to the size of the load.

16) Washing dark clothes in cold water saves water and energy, and helps your clothes retain their color.

17) When shopping for a new washing machine, compare resource savings among Energy Star models. Some can save up to 20 gallons of water per load.

18) Have a plumber re-route your greywater to trees and plants rather than the sewer line. Check with your city and county for codes.

19) If your shower fills a one-gallon bucket in less than 20 seconds, replace the showerhead to an energy efficiency model.

20) Shorten your shower by a minute or two and you’ll save up to 150 gallons per month.

21) Time your shower to keep it under 5 minutes. You’ll save up to 1,000 gallons per month.

22) Toilet leaks can be silent! Be sure to test your toilet for leaks at least once a year.

23) Put food coloring in your toilet tank. If it seeps into the bowl without flushing, there’s a leak. Fix it and start saving gallons.

24) When running a bath, plug the bathtub before turning on the water. Adjust the temperature as the tub fills.

25) If your toilet flapper doesn’t close properly after flushing, replace it.


1 Comment

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    28 Apr 2015

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