Surviving Socal’s Unprecedented Water Restrictions: a Simple, No-Nonsense Guide

With unprecedented water restrictions now in place across Southern California, many are questioning how life will change and whether residents can actually conserve.

Here are 10 things to consider as the new restrictions — most notably limiting outdoor watering to one or two days a week — set in.

Reused Grey Water Cuts Water Usage, Saves You Some Green

Every time you take a shower, brush your teeth or do a load of laundry, you’re letting water — one of Earth’s most precious resources — just swirl down the drain. Instead, what if you reclaimed that water and reused it to flush toilets and water the flowers?

Some municipalities, homebuilders and water-recycling manufacturers are increasingly making that a viable option. In the United States, where the average household uses more than 300 gallons of water a day, one of the greatest untapped resources is grey water.

Demand for Greywater Systems Surge During Drought

With a full house that includes her husband, two young daughters and two dogs, homeowner Erin Payne is constantly doing laundry, sometimes one load every day.

“All of our pets and kids and being out in the dirt,” she said. “It’s a lot.”

But Payne said one thing that always bothered her was all the water going to waste, not only for laundry but other things. “All of our showers and baths and bathroom sinks are all connected, so the combination is quite a bit of water,” she said.

How to Build a Water-Smart City

Cities across time have stretched to secure water. The Romans built aqueducts, the Mayans constructed underground storage chambers, and Hohokam farmers dug more than 500 miles of canals in what is now the U.S. Southwest.

Today’s cities use portfolios of technologies to conserve supply — everything from 60-story dams and chemicals to centrifugal pumps and special toilets. And yet, the cities of tomorrow will have to do more.