|Click graph to enlarge – 2016 usage (red)|
California is heading into a 4th year of drought – with La Niña and the prospect of a dry winter (for Southern California) on the horizon. Meanwhile, here in Marin County, we've had a near-normal year of rainfall and our reservoirs are at healthy levels. While it's easy to think that water conservation is someone else's problem, it helps to remember that this is a long game. Even when full, our reservoirs hold only enough water for 2 years.
The graph above shows our water usage for the last few years. While the data can be read any number of ways, it would be nice to think we're getting smarter about how and when we water our plants and irrigate our landscaping.
One good conservation practice is to periodically adjust water use according to the season. Plants at this time of year need less water: plant growth has slowed, the days are shorter and temperatures are decreasing. By November it should be possible to shut off any automatic irrigation systems for the winter months.
Regardless, the trick for the coming years will be to remain vigilant about water conservation, and to maintain some of the watering practices that have enabled us to successfully reduce our usage over the past few years.
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