How much water do you use each month?… each week?… each day? And how much of your total water usage is outdoors? The first step in water conservation is knowledge – if you don’t know how much water you are using, how can you be sure you are doing your part to reduce water usage by 20%? One of the keys to managing your water use is to understand how much water you are using.
Most people think that they use more water indoors than outdoors. However, in some areas, up to 70% (!!!) of daily water use goes on lawns and outdoor landscaping. In fact, the average household uses more water outdoors than most homes use for showering and laundry combined (www.epa.gov/watersense). And water used for outdoor landscape irrigation is the single largest use of municipal water supplies.
It makes sense that to make the largest impact in water conservation, we need to focus outside where most of the water is being used. For the past 8 years (before the drought hit!), The Frog Hollow has been researching and developing a water management program that helps homeowners, apartment complexes, recreational parks and fields, and companies of all kinds lower their water use. The program consists of water audits, upgrades, retrofits and maintenance of the irrigation system. By completing the suggested improvement our clients are able to capture 30% to 50% outdoor water savings while supporting a healthy landscape.
If you are interested in becoming more aware of your water usage, there is a great article from the California Landscape Contractors Association to help you learn to read your water bill and check your water meter at http://www.clca.us/water/waterbill.html.
But, as part of our water audit we can review your water bills for you and pinpoint inefficiencies in your water use. We recently discovered a huge inconsistency in a clients’ water bill. Upon further investigation we uncovered an undetected city mainline break that was leaking enough water to supply 30+ homes per day! They hadn’t noticed the huge amount of water use reported because they weren’t even checking the water bill.
Please be a responsible consumer of our most precious resource.