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Get your drought on

Submitted by on 1, August 4, 2008 – 7:45 amNo Comment

For those of you who may not have seen it, fellowblogger John Knox White has been chronicling the drought and subsequent water restrictions and rate hikes put in place by the East Bay Municipal Utility District board (here he is talking about it on KTVU the other day, by the way).

Basically, single-family households need to cut their water use by 10 percent or face surcharges. So we at The Island have been asking ourselves, what does that mean?

Fortunately for us, water district folks and utility boards from around the Bay Area have put up this website to help us figure out how many gallons different water-saving tricks can save us, so we can make our numbers each month. Some highlights:

Washing machines can use up to 50 gallons of water per load; high efficiency washers can cut that down by 40 percent (or you could just do what we do and stuff your washer full to save loads). Fixing a leaky pipe or faucet can also save up to 50 gallons a day, though we’re thinking that would have to be one hell of a leak. Aerators on kitchen and bathroom sinks could also cut water use by up to 4 percent, the water folks say; low-flow shower heads could cut the water you use in the shower by nearly two-thirds.

And did you know that toilets can be one of the biggest water hogs in your whole house, sucking away up to 7 gallons per flush if they’re really old? High-efficiency toilets can knock that down to 1.2 gallons per. Or you can go by that mellow old California maxim.

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