8 Tips for Reducing Water Use During a Drought

by Suzanne Carroll
reminder to use less water

Winter rain totals for Northern California fell far short of expectations this year. Once again, state and local governments are anticipating drought conditions in the near future, and some communities are already restricting water usage. When the Bay Area faced a persistent drought just a few years ago, residents learned how to adapt. Here’s a refresher on changes you can make to limit water use in your home and garden during a drought. 


Install water-saving aerators on your faucets. This simple modification to your sink can help save 0.7 gallons of water per minute. 


Make the switch to drip irrigation. Driplines and streamers are more efficient than sprinkler heads at providing water to your plants and shrubs. Also, the cost of converting to drip irrigation is relatively low. 


Consider a graywater system, which recycles water used by household appliances for irrigation. Be aware that graywater isn’t potable and can’t be used on some plants. 


Be smart about how you use household appliances. Only run your washing machine or dishwasher if you have a full load. Older appliances are much less efficient in their use of electricity and water, so it may be the right time to upgrade to a newer model. 


Create a low-flow bathroom. Installing a low-flow showerhead or replacing an older toilet with a low-flow model can significantly reduce your water use. 


Choose drought-resistant plants for your yard. California native species like deergrass, golden yarrow and the California poppy thrive in environments with limited water supply. These plants can also reduce soil erosion. 


Know when and how to water your lawn. Turn on sprinklers early in the morning before the dew has evaporated. Water fewer days per week but for longer periods of time to allow the water to reach deeper roots.


Check for leaks indoors and outdoors. Survey the faucets and drains in your home and repair any leaks you find. Similarly, inspect your irrigation system outdoors and address any faulty pipelines or misfiring sprinkler heads. 


Find a Diamond Certified company in your area to help you reduce your water usage:

Landscape Contractor

Landscape Maintenance

Lawns – Artificial Turf