Each of us has a major role to play. Each of us must do our part.
People from the Water District tell me that the first thing we should all be doing, is getting our personal water consumption to less than 50 gallons per person per day. This is the maximum socially responsible level of consumption, if we are going to get through this crisis, and it is the level we should all commit to achieving.
So, I want to give you a way to benchmark YOUR use, so you can get yours down to below 50.
(FULL DISCLOSURE- there might be an easier way to do this, but I can't find it. And, the MMWD website is kind of user unfriendly, so it is not a trivial effort to do this. But, it works, and, if anybody knows a better way, please let us all know!)
Ok, here we go. The image above is the image you will get when you go to the MMWD main page. HERE is the link, if you don't have it.
Now, you must have an on-line account. I am going to assume that you already have one, and that you can log in. If you do NOT have a login, you will need to create it, and that process is fairly straight-forward on the site. If you are NOT able to do that, I think MMWD is standing by to help.
Ok, so the next step will be to click on the button that says "Pay my bill." (you will see this blue box on the lower left quadrant).
When you click my Pay my bill icon, you will see this screen:
"Make a Payment." When you do that, you will see a screen something like this:
Here is the where the fun begins. I want to show you two important things on your bill. Your bill will look something like this:
The second thing that is interesting, is to compare this year to last year. You will see from my example that last year, I was using 190 gallons per day. That is actually kind of shocking to me. Last year this time, we were holed up because of the virus, but I can't think of what we were doing differently. I do know that, because of the water crisis, we have instituted a lot of changes in our lifestyle (including cutting WAY back on any irrigation of our plants) but that seems kind of extreme. Anyway, I am mostly just glad that we are better now than whatever wasteful ways we were this time last year.
Finally, take a look at the graph at the bottom right. This one shows our water consumption over time. What is also cool about this one is that it compares your use to the average HOUSEHOLD in the area. Your consumption is the dark blue and the average is the light blue. You can see here that our usage was higher in July, September, November, and January, but we were almost always less than the average customer. Thus being below average allows me to feel a little bit virtuous, and, at the same time, a little bit guilty for my watering a small garden during the hot dry months. I have to think about that. And what in the world was I doing in January??? I used more water in January than in all other months, even though it was a wet month and our sprinkler system was off!
Then, I remembered. During December of last year, we moved out of our house for a while and loaned it to a family who had been displaced by the fires. There were more than two of them (I don't really remember how many), but the increase reflects the fact that the house was not occupied by two water misers, but by a larger number of people who may not have been so careful.
And so you can see, this one little page gives me great insight into how we are using water and how we might need to change.
Given the current drought, the Water District has asked all of us to save another 20% of our water. I have no idea how we will do that (maybe I have to sacrifice my tomatoes), but we are trying.
So must we all.
Together, we can do this.
If you try this at home and run into trouble, I am not the Geek squad, but I can try to help. Thank you all for caring.