With reservoirs low from some of the driest weather in decades, Marin Water is now in the early stages of drought and we are asking everyone in the community to partner with us in conserving water.
Only 20 inches of rainfall was recorded at Lake Lagunitas last year, less than half the average rainfall we typically see. In fact, 2020 was the second-driest year in 90 years. We entered March with reservoir storage levels at 56% of total capacity, compared to the 90% average we expect this time of year.
As Marin County’s largest drinking water provider, we have a special responsibility to act early and prepare. Our first step is to ask our customers to voluntarily conserve by making some important changes to indoor and outdoor water use.
Marin Water staff estimates that 50% of local residential water use occurs outside. Turning off your irrigation system and watering by hand when necessary can save large amounts of water. Other tips from our conservation staff include limiting outdoor watering to three times a week, and being sure to use a hose with a shutoff nozzle. The water district provides free water-efficient nozzles, faucet aerators and showerheads.
The changing climate means hotter, drier weather, and possibly longer and more frequent droughts. Marin Water is addressing this through a renewed program of consumer incentives to increase local water use efficiency not just for this year, but for the long term. For example, installing a smart irrigation controller that automatically adjusts to local weather and landscapes to deliver just the right amount of water your plants need, saves water and money. Grey-water systems that recycle water from your washer for irrigation use are also a great way to reuse water. Marin Water provides rebates for smart irrigation controllers and grey-water kits.
Lawns use an enormous amount of water. With the hot summer months approaching, replacing your lawn now will make a big difference in your water use and save you money on your bill for years to come. The district offers rebates for replacing your lawn, or you can take advantage of our free mulching material and water-saving irrigation kits, delivered to your home free of charge.
Even small changes can have a major impact, such as fixing leaks promptly and opting for a professional car wash that recycles water instead of washing your car at home. Collectively, these small adjustments make a big difference.
To help get the conservation message out to all of our customers, we have launched a public awareness campaign to provide conservation tips, information about conservation rebates and details about how to spot water waste. Watch for our conservation inserts and newsletters in your bills, follow us on social media and please share our conservation posts with friends and family. Information about conservation and…