Water Conservation – What You Can Do

In 2008, and for the first time in California since 1991, the Governor proclaimed a statewide drought and called for implementation of numerous measures to reduce water consumption. And, by most accounts, the Bay Area will continue to experience conditions that warrant a greater emphasis on water conservation. The following are some tools and information that can help you conserve water and save money. The City also provides this flyer with useful tips.

  • Take advantage of the rebates that the City provides for purchase of low-flow toilets and water-saving washing machines.
  • Learn to read your water meter so you can track your consumption.
  • Know where your house water valve is located so you can turn your water off in case of an emergency.

In the Kitchen and Laundry Rooms

  • Don’t leave the water running – turn off the tap while washing dishes, fill the sink or a dish pan to wash and rinse dishes.
  • Check faucets and pipes for leaks – even a small leak from worn washers can waste more than 50 gallons of water per day.
  • Equip faucets with aerators.
  • Upgrade to an efficient clothes washing machine – wash only full laundry loads.

In the Bathroom

  • Check your toilet flapper for leaks – add food coloring to toilet tank and if dye appears in the bowl, your toilet is running.
  • Install low-flow shower heads – today’s efficient models still produce great water pressure.
  • Take shorter showers.
  • Turn the water off while brushing your teeth.
  • Replace your old toilet – toilets are the largest water user in the home.
  • Do not use your toilet as a wastebasket.

 Around your Property

  • Plant drought-tolerant species.
  • Water lawns only when needed, but water long enough to deep-soak grass roots – a light sprinkling sits on the surface & evaporates easily.
  • Water during the cool part of the day to reduce evaporation.
  • Place mulch around trees and plant to slow evaporation (and inhibit weed growth).
  • Install shut-off nozzles on all garden hoses.
  • Sweep sidewalks and driveways instead of hosing them down.
  • Don’t water the pavement – position sprinkler heads to water lawns and gardens, not the pavement surrounding your landscape.
  • Check for broken sprinkler heads and irrigation tubing at least once a month.
  • Don’t let water run while washing the car.

Additional water saving resources see:

  • The San Francisco Public Utilities Commission (SFPUC) Water Conservation Website has up-to-date information on water supply conditions for the SFPUC and its wholesale customers (e.g., Burlingame), as well as tips for saving water.
  • The Bay Area Water Supply and Conservation Agency (BAWSCA) Water Conservation Website  presents detailed information on local water conservation programs (e.g., rebates for water-efficient fixtures) that Burlingame residents may be able to take advantage of.
  • The California Department of Water Resources (DWR) Drought News site presents up-to-date information on water supply conditions throughout the state.
  • The Association of California Water Agencies (ACWA) Drought Response Map shows you what other communities throughout the state are doing in response to the drought.
  • The Save our Water website has lots of water conservation information including lists of the little changes you can make in your kitchen, bathroom, and laundry room that collectively add up to a lot of water savings. The site also includes video testimonials by real people taking real action to save water.