10802169858?profile=RESIZE_710xThe average U.S. household uses 300 gallons of water daily, with about 30% going to lawns and gardens. In hot, dry areas like the Bay Area, the percentage of household water that is used outdoors is well over 50%. This varies widely by region and type of housing, of course. So when you ask the water-saving experts how to use less water, you may get the response, "It depends." Let them know that you want to save water and energy. And take advantage of the resources in our area, especially the Contra Costa Water District and SCOCO's Cleaner Contra Costa Challenge.

The Contra Costa Water District (CCWD) is here to help. With the county experiencing extreme drought over the last three years, the water district, in Stage 2 of its Water Shortage Contingency Plan, wants all of us to save at least 15% of our water use compared to 2020. As a part of its Drought Management Program, after a public comment period, CCWD added a surcharge that began on July 1. To avoid paying the 15% surcharge, use less than 200 gallons daily. The charge is an incentive for the CCWD to save water individually and help the District adjust to the challenges associated with the drought.

You can get rebates of $1 per square foot of lawn you replace with a drought-tolerant landscape. CCWD will connect you with a landscape designer who will come to your home and provide a two-hour consult. You pay the designer $150, and CCWD will reimburse you the whole amount once you complete your project. For information about the rebates and a ton of helpful information on saving water, check our CCWD's "Water Efficiency" page.

The SCOCO Cleaner Contra Costa Challenge recommends actions to save energy, reduce emissions, and save water inside and outside the home. And SCOCO is always here to provide support and friendship through its community programs, including the Challenge, which includes water-saving measures you can do right now. Be Water Wise! Some measures include replacing your lawn, drought-tolerant landscaping, getting a Home Energy Checkup, and installing a greywater system. Several years ago, California made greywater systems legal in the state. The most popular greywater systems direct used clothes washer water for gardens. (To learn everything you want about greywater systems and more, check out this webinar recording from Sustainability LIVE, "Simple Greywater Systems.")

Your yard can be drought-tolerant, beautiful, habitat-rich, and inviting. Our fall workshop series brings you three free webinars designed to help you take your landscape to the next level. Co-sponsored by Contra Costa Water District.

Events in this series, starting on September 9:

Friday, September 9, 2022 11:00 AM PDT

Friday, October 7, 2022, 11:00 AM PDT

Friday, November 4, 2022, 11:00 AM PDT


Photo by: Cassidy Phillips on Unsplash



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