Water Conservation State, National, International, posted by Stacey, a resident of the Amberwood/Wood Meadows neighborhood, on May 14, 2008 at 10:09 am
Summer is coming and today is going to be hot. Time to start thinking once again about water conservation, especially since EBMUD has just voted to begin water rationing (Web Link).
Let's list here things we can do to reduce our water usage and help prevent a "tragedy of the commons".
- Take a shower with a family member
- Don't shower every day (adult skin dries out from frequent showers).
- Only wash full loads
- If your washer/dishwasher has the option, use the 'quick wash' setting. Most loads don't need a full cycle.
- Install a gray water system for irrigation. Gray water is water that has been used for washing (drains from sink, washer, bath, shower). Simple versions are keeping a bucket in the shower or hooking up a tank to the washer drain. Since we pay for water and sewer separately in Pleasanton, a professionally installed whole-house gray water system can pay for itself rather quickly.
- If you haven't already done so, replace all shower heads, toilets, faucets with low-gallon versions.
- Reduce the amount of dishes that need washing by serving food right out of the pot/pan instead of putting it in a serving dish.
Posted by Ptown Mom, a member of the Amador Valley High School community, on May 16, 2008 at 11:30 pm
Pleasanton city itself needs to look at all the landscape-watering systems in this town. There have been plenty of times I have seen water running down the street for over-watering on medians and sides of major streets. Sometimes the sprays of water are directed towards the road rather than the grass!
If it hasn't been reviewed already, city employees should be maintaining these systems to prevent the waste of water. City officials should publish the appropriate telephone to report poorly directed and/or programed systems.
Posted by Tim, a resident of the Birdland neighborhood, on May 17, 2008 at 4:28 pm
P-town Mom has it right. I've called the city before to complain about them wasting water (wet streets, flooded parks, etc.) and poor watering times (middle of the day). I was told that the systems were all automated and it was too expensive for them to change the timers. The Weekly should call out the city on specific examples of how they waste water and I encourage others to complain directly to the city. Perhaps The Weekly could also run an article letting people know how often and when to water their landscaping as most people (hey aside) want to conserve yet many water every day, and/or in the afternoon.
Posted by VH Mom, a resident of the Vintage Hills Elementary School neighborhood, on May 18, 2008 at 3:35 pm
If you want a clear example on "do as I say, not as I do" you only have to look at the new landscaping the city put in on Vineyard Avenue between Montevino and Bernal (a few feet from the mayor's house). There must be thousands of plants the city just put in to "beautify" that street. I see the sprinklers on quite often. Being this is a brand new project, why didn't the city use drip irrigation? The city is telling residents to use drip irrigation to reduce the landscaping water needs but the city still uses overhead sprinklers. That median should have been done to xeroscape standards and not planting 100's (1000's ?) of day lillies and such. I can't imagine what the maintenance is going to be there with all those plants.
Posted by Stacey, a resident of the Amberwood/Wood Meadows neighborhood, on May 19, 2008 at 8:07 am
My understanding is that the City can't water everything at night. There wouldn't be enough pressure in the irrigation system to do everything at night. I doubt it has much to do with expense of changing a timer.
Regarding the landscaping on Vineyard, that kind of landscaping is all over Pleasanton and yea, better xeroscape design would rock (anyone ever seen Arizona?). But it is entirely ridiculous to suggest that the landscaping project there has anything to do with the mayor. Vineyard got "fixed up" between Bernal and Montevino because enough citizens complained to the City about it! Citizens living in that area were fed up with the traffic and speeders going to and from Ruby Hills so the City installed "traffic calming" measures, including expanding the median.
Posted by Cholo, a resident of Livermore, on May 19, 2008 at 10:27 am
Hi Stacey...another Cholo wannabe being creepy. I did not post the above. Plutonians, I like Stacey because she's smart and cool and shares information! HOORAY!
My advice to Plutonians is to PRESSURE PRESSURE PRESSURE AND TO HOLD YOUR ELECTED OFFICIALS ACCOUNTABLE. If all you want to do is whine online for attention, then so be it. If you want to make a difference, get more involved in local government.
(Comment deemed inappropriate by Pleasanton Weekly Online staff)
Posted by Jason, a resident of the Pleasanton Meadows neighborhood, on May 20, 2008 at 8:31 pm
Stacey, do you work for the City? They can water everything when the sun is down but for whatever reason they don't. To use your logic, the water system couldn't support a large number of people taking showers at the same time, which does in fact happen every weekday morning as people get ready for work and school.
Posted by Ptown Mom, a member of the Amador Valley High School community, on May 21, 2008 at 10:28 pm
I did want to report back that I saw a city employee working with the angles of the sprinkler systems at the sports park, along Hopyard, this morning. I'm hoping they were ensuring that all the water sprayed does indeed hit the grass...since the water will do very little good on the sidewalk or street.
Posted by Stacey, a resident of the Amberwood/Wood Meadows neighborhood, on May 21, 2008 at 10:45 pm
No, I don't work for the City. I am just repeating what I once heard (whether it is right or wrong) which is why I wrote "My understanding is...". I think your comparison of a large number of people taking showers with large scale irrigation is not very good. Have you seen the amount of water the sprinklers at a sports field puts out compared with a showerhead? Seriously, why do you think the City maintains a series of large water tanks in the hills (with another one planned when the Oak Grove development is built).
Posted by Jim, a resident of the Danbury Park neighborhood, on May 22, 2008 at 3:22 pm
I just saw the recent city council meeting and was astonished that the council approved (3 for, 2 against) a house in the vineyard corridor area where they will be cutting down around 80 oak trees and planting about 500 new trees. The speaker on this item was right, how can the city council ask people to cut down on water when they approve a house that will be planting 500 trees that require our limited water for irrigation?
To add insult to injury, this land owner is represented by no other than Tom Pico, the same consultant as the Oak Grove development. I always though Mr. Pico was an environmentalist but now I see that he has converted from environmentalism to capitalism (work for the developers as this is where the money is).
Posted by Jason, a resident of the Pleasanton Meadows neighborhood, on May 23, 2008 at 9:01 pm
If only 10% of the city's residents are taking showers at the same time that should be about 35,000 gallons per minute, or more. We have enough water pressure to water multiple parks at the same time, especially if the parks are watered on an alternating basis between 10:00 P.M. and 5:00 A.M. 2 - 3 days per week.
(Comment partially removed by Pleasanton Weekly Online staff).