BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KERO) — California is in a drought and according to the California drought website the water year that ended in September with the second driest year recorded.
The California drought website shows a map showing where different states fall on a scale for the drought. The scale ranges from non, D0 (Abnormally Dry), D1 (Moderate Drought), D2 (Severe Drought), D3 (Extreme Drought), and D4 (Exceptional Drought). While small parts of California are in D1 or D2 majority of state is D3 and D4.
With majority of the state being in extreme drought people are searching for ways to conserve water. The California Department of Water Resources conservation program suggested things people can do in their daily routines to save water.
From shorter showers to loading fuller loads of dishes and laundry, here are simple steps Californians can take to reduce their water use during the holiday season:
- Defrost frozen foods without water. Leaving the faucet on to defrost a frozen ham or turkey will waste a ton of water. It can cause quite the dent in your water bill, too. Instead, let your frozen items defrost overnight in the fridge.
- Rinse veggies and fruits but don’t run the faucet. Fill a large bowl or pan with water to rinse vegetables and fruits rather than running the tap. This water can be reused to water your garden or any indoor plants you may have around the house.
- Repurpose food scraps for compost. Don’t use your garbage disposal to discard food waste after holiday meals. Toss scraps into the garbage can or save those leaves, rinds and stems for making compost. Not only will you save water, but the compost can later be used to fertilize your garden.
- Avoid handwashing dishes. If you have a dishwasher, use it. Washing full loads of dishes saves 5-15 gallons per load and uses significantly less water than washing by hand.
- Take 5 minute showers instead of 10 minute showers. Many of us enjoy a hot shower on a cold day, but it’s important to keep those showers short to conserve water. Try keeping those warm showers under 5 minutes. Play your favorite holiday song that is under 5 minutes and try to finish your shower before the end of the song!
- Have guests? Remind them that California is in a drought, and we are all doing our part to save water this holiday season. Share with them helpful tips for saving water around the house.
- Check your sprinklers. Going out of town? Before you go, check the weather forecast and adjust your irrigation timer accordingly if it looks like it will rain while you’re gone. Better yet, install a smart controller to do the work for you. And remember, in these cooler months of the year it is best to cut back on outdoor watering.