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A Guide To Doing Your Part During the California Drought

A recurring, yet unfortunate, characteristic of California’s climate is drought. From 2012 to 2016, our state experienced a historically devastating period of drought. During those five years, Californians made a concerted effort to save water in their daily lives. Despite this movement, the California drought continues to severely affect our state today due to climate change. It is tremendously important that we are aware of and we take action to reduce our water usage. Here is a guide to being a water-smart Californian!

#1: Fix Leaks

According to the Save Our Water campaign, household leaks waste an average of 10,000 gallons each year in the U.S. Be vigilant about looking out for leaks within your own home and ensure that they are fixed as soon as they form!

#2: Take Shorter Showers

If you are able to reduce your showers to ten, or even five minutes, you will greatly contribute to the conservation of water. This can be easily accomplished by turning off the water when you are washing your hair or body.

#3: Only Wash Full Loads

When washing dishes or laundry, only run wash cycles when you have a maximal load. This will allow your household to save gallons water and lower your monthly water bill.

#4: Turn Off Water When You’re Not Using It

Although this tip seems like common sense, turning your water off when brushing your teeth or shaving can save upwards of 8 gallons per day. 

#5: Upgrade With Water Safe Plants

A large portion of water used by Californians each day is used outside. To reduce this usage, you can update your yard with water-wise plants, such as succulents. For example, my parents received a grant from our city on the coast of California to replace the grass in their frontyard with a drought-resistant landscape. Their yard is now completely water-wise, and looks beautiful! Contact your local water agency to recieve information about the best, California-native plants for your area. 

Laurel James is a second-year Political Science major at UCSD. Besides contributing to her university's Her Campus chapter, Laurel likes reading dramatic books, trying new coffee shops, going to the beach, and enjoying the company of her friends and family.