Community Partners Help Keep Santa Barbara Santa Barbara ™ Partners

How Are You Cutting Back During the Drought?

photoThe City of Santa Barbara is not watering lawns and even live public art installations have gone dry. Succulents are pretty hardy and will likely come back, but it begets the question—how are you cutting back water usage during the drought?

We have heard all kinds of conservation ideas like keeping a bucket in the shower and reusing it on plants. Some others are very granola-headed… so here is a chance to share your stories and tips:

13 Responses to “How Are You Cutting Back During the Drought?”

  1. Put a couple bricks in the back of your toilet oh and donate directly to ALS rather than pouring buckets of water on your head

  2. Reuse of washer water. Although I see a high efficiency washer sometime in the future, in the interim the older ones use a lot of water. That became very obvious when we started saving it. What you need: One 50 gallon plastic barrel (the kind that has a filler hole) a sump pump and a hose. Cut a circle out of the top big enough to drop the pump and hose through. Put the washer drain hose through the smaller filler hole and divert all the wash and rinse water into the barrel. Attach the hose to the pump, drop it into the barrel and plug in. For soap I make my own. 1 finely graded bar of Fels Naptha laundry soap, 1 cup laundry soda and one cup borax. You only use 1-2 table spoons, it works really well, is about 99% (with the exception of a small amount of dye and fragrance in the bar soap) you can also use different bar soaps if that is a issue. Great for sensitive skin and the plants are doing great.

    We also have a “Mesa Hot Tub”. A outside claw foot tub with the spout removed and capped off. It fits 2 and has a shower. We use it about once a week and that water is saved and used for the container plants and herb garden. Other than some fruit trees that need a rare soak, the rest of the property has been planted with succulents and water wise plants since the house was built in the 60’s and has required zero supplemental watering.

    A heavy layer of mulch around anything that does require water

    Fourth tip. I am going to replace a flat area that has been covered in rock with artificial turf. It is not going to save me any water, but will make a nice usable space. There is a house nearby that has had it in for at least 6 years and I am so impressed with how it looks and feels and how well it has held up, I going for it.

  3. el_smurfo

    lawn dead
    bucket in shower
    50 gallon trash can to collect washer grey water

    • Good idea

      Where does the bucket go. I have a tub shower – How much water do you get?

      • el_smurfo

        Generally, you put the bucket under the shower nozzle while waiting for the water to warm. Depending on distance to your water heater, you can get a gallon or more you can use to flush toilets or water plants.

  4. Water Cop

    Put a spray nozzle on every hose, it’s the LAW!

  5. Large plastic pan/bowl in kitchen sink (easiest with dual sink). Wash veg and rinse up over it, then toss the water onto thirsty plants. Several gallons a day.

  6. Anonymous

    Sounds kind gross but we are only flushing toilets once a day or when it is brown

  7. Stepping up

    Empty gallon bleach bottles kept by sinks and shower to collect warm-up water which goes on plants. Perfect size. Using the water barrel water now from the last rain storm.
    Letting too much of the garden die now. No roses. Sad.but a few containers that use the saved household water keeps things still pretty. Fewer showers, more sponge baths. Fewer flushes, you know the drill. Nothing however that cannot easily become a new lifestyle.

    Unhappy to still see too many very green lawns and parking strips right next to brown ones and water running down the gutters. A few are still not getting the message and taking water that belongs to the rest of us. Looking forward to the city having a water police call line.

  8. Anonymous

    If a waiter brings me water and I don’t ask he/she doesn’t get a tip

  9. Barbara

    Wow, I love seeing all of these posts! I also have a big pan in my sink to catch the water for rinsing fruits and veggies, my hands etc and even dish washing water. That gets used on my plants.

    Here’s a new one. I did feel I must wash my car a couple of months ago, so went out on an early dewey morning, sprayed some of my oasis dish soap and water on my car, sponged it and used as small amount to rinse it onto the yard.

    At least it helps to know that water that goes in the ground is so much better than down the drain or storm drain.

  10. Anonymous

    Put saucers under plants; trickle down irrigation (watering smaller planted pots over larger ones so drainage trickles down); giving plants leftover ice from drinks; saving yesterday’s leftover drinking water for plants, trimming plants back so they have less to support and need less water; top mulch so soil stays moist.

  11. Washer grey water goes to a deep sink. Sump pump in the deep sink. Hose from pump to backyard plants.

    “Navy showers” i.e. shower water on, wet your body completely; water off; soap down; water back on and rinse off soap.

    Dishes; Briefly wet all dishes and sponge; water off; wipe soapy sponge over dishes; water back on to rinse dishes; capture rinse water in an old mayonnaise jar and use later on plants.