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Sacramento kept sprinklers off, saw savings soar

Area residents cut water use 22% in dry November

Sprinkler
Lawn irrigation and other water uses were reduced
by Sacramento-area residents 22% in November.
(Photo: Kathy Morrison)



Good job, Sacramento-area water savers!

After crunching the numbers, Sacramento’s water watchers reported more huge savings by Sacramento-area residents. Apparently, October’s heavy rainfall carried over to water savings in November, which was unusually dry.

According to the Regional Water Authority, which represents 20 local water providers, Sacramento-area water use was down 22% in November compared to November 2020. That’s triple the statewide average, which saw overall California water use down 6.8% in November compared to a year earlier.

Sacramento’s savings are on top of a 13% drop in regional water use since the last drought.

Paired with a wet December, those savings put Sacramento-area residents in a good place, water-wise. But we could still do more.

“We’re asking everyone to keep up the great work by turning sprinklers off during rain and fixing household leaks,” said Amy Talbot, RWA’s water efficiency program manager. “We know through research that it’s easy for people to ignore those annoying little faucet and shower drips. But it’s important to remember that all of those little drips can quickly add up and that fixing leaks is often easier than you think.”

A leaky or running toilet is the most common household leak, Talbot said. Such leaks can waste 200 gallons a day. Following toilets are dripping faucets and shower heads.

According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, 10% of homes have leaks that can waste 90 gallons or more per day, she added. That’s enough to fill 1,440 glasses of water – each day! In one week, it’s enough water to irrigate 126 full-size tomato plants.

Water providers offer several ways to help local residents including rebates and water-wise house calls to search for potential leaks and savings. Upgrade your irrigation system with rebates, too.

Find water-wise tips, rebate information and how-to videos at
BeWaterSmart.info .

In related news, the State Water Resources Control Board just Tuesday adopted drought rules outlawing water wasting, including overwatering lawns or hosing down sidewalks. Fines up to $500 are possible. See the Bee's story here.

Gov. Gavin Newsom had set a goal of a 15% reduction, which the Sacramento area met and surpassed. The statewide total for November, as the Bee's Dale Kasler reports, was just 6.8%; Southern California actually increased water consumption by 0.8%.


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Dig In: Garden Checklist for week of April 7

The warm wave coming this week will shift weeds into overdrive. Get to work!

* Weed, weed, weed! Whack them before they flower.

* Mulch around plants to conserve moisture and control weeds.

* Smell orange blossoms? Feed citrus trees with a low dose of balanced fertilizer (such as 10-10-10) during bloom to help set fruit. Keep an eye out for ants.

* Apply slow-release fertilizer to the lawn.

* Thoroughly clean debris from the bottom of outdoor ponds or fountains.

* Spring brings a flush of rapid growth, and that means your garden is really hungry. Feed shrubs and trees with a slow-release fertilizer. Or mulch with a 1-inch layer of compost.

* Azaleas and camellias looking a little yellow? If leaves are turning yellow between the veins, give them a boost with chelated iron.

* Trim dead flowers but not leaves from spring-flowering bulbs such as daffodils and tulips. Those leaves gather energy to create next year's flowers. Also, give the bulbs a fertilizer boost after bloom.

* Pinch chrysanthemums back to 12 inches for fall flowers. Cut old stems to the ground.

* From seed, plant beans, beets, cantaloupes, carrots, corn, cucumbers, melons, radishes and squash. Plant onion sets.

* In the flower garden, plant seeds for asters, cosmos, celosia, marigolds, salvia, sunflowers and zinnias. Transplant petunias, zinnias, geraniums and other summer bloomers.

* Plant perennials and dahlia tubers for summer bloom. April is about the last chance to plant summer bulbs, such as gladiolus and tuberous begonias.

* Transplant lettuce and cabbage seedlings.

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