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[personal profile] ritaxis
How bad is it? This is how bad it is. I tried to find a better view of the map, but basically, there's no water anywhere, and there's even less water in the Central Coast and the southern Valley. I live in the Central Coast. One good/bad thing is that all our water comes from here -- no water from the Sierra Nevada, no water from the Delta, no water from the Feds -- probably mostly good this year because nobody's turning out water off but Mother Nature. There's other places where the feds have turned off the water, literally shutting down valves to the irrigation canals.

Personally, there's been something wrong at my house. Even though none of us are water wasters in general, we've been running 30% over the target (which allows 50 gallons a day for each person). So we've been undertaking various steps to decrease water use and look for problems. Keith found the toilet valve spewing water in a new way: I'm guessing it was leaking more subtly before too. Anyway, he fixed that. I fixed the dishwasher which needed a new door gasket so we can start using that: it's supposed to save significant water over handwashing if you only run it full. We're adjusting bathing and laundry routines. I'm sad to say I am now taking 8 gallon baths twice a week. Apparently that's a lot less than a usual bath uses. But there are consequences. That grey water gets really, really grey when you bathe only twice a week and you use so little water . . . and it means if I'm going to have enough grey water to flush the toilet I have to get pretty fanatical about scooping every drop of water into the buckets. With the water being so grey, I've taken to putting a drop of bleach in each bucket so they don't fester.

I'm actually going ahead with the summer garden, but I'm watering in drips and drops. I have not invested in a dripline because I believe I need to understand my garden better before I do it. Meanwhile I'm checking the soil before I water and only adding enough to make it moist down at the root level. No showering the whole bed to get it over and done with. Naturally I have bought mulch but it's not been applied yet.

On the laundry front -- the one roommate whose cat has a habit of peeing on her bed has decided to use the laundromat sometimes. I haven't had the guts to tell everyone to quite doing weird little loads of one color, because who wants to be the person who says "I don't care if your clothes all turn grey so long as I don't have to pay the fine for being over ration?" Though I've been doing it for years, and I almost never get  running colors or dinge from that source. I do have other issues with laundry, though, which are not relevant here but which would kind of undermine my position that sorting clothes is unnecessary with modern dye technology.

Meanwhile, my drinking water needs seem to keep growing. I'm up to "must drink more than four gallons  four quarts or I will [redacted for TMI issues]"
 But that's less than ten percent   three percent of my allotment.

Upshot! (or temporary upshot anyway) Remember we were thirty percent above our ration? The ration is 200 gallons per day for my house (and most houses in Santa Cruz). So we were using like 260 gallons a day, or more. Today I read my meter and then called the water department for help in understanding what's up with it. In the last twenty-six days we've used seven something or other units, which you multiply by 748 (no typo) to get the number of total gallons. Multiplying by 748 and dividing by 26 is 201, which is . . . wait for it . . .

one gallon per day over the ration!

That's 59 gallons a day less. Considering that the time included is transitional, that is before and after various changes we made, it bodes well.
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