7 Simple Ways to Help with the California Drought

By Kelly Conroy

Kelly Rathburn Conroy
Kelly Conroy

We all know there is a serious drought occurring in the state of California. Fortunately there are some easy ways we can make an impact locally and help conserve the small percentage of water that’s left in Folsom Lake. Summer just started and it’s a dry road ahead; here are 7 simple ways to watch your water usage and still enjoy being a Californian this summer.


1) Don’t wash your car

It’s a great excuse to be lazy (if you wash it yourself) or save some money (if you’re a drive-thru car wash kind of gal). It’s not like being dirty will make your car stop working, so just let it be a little rugged looking this summer.

2) Shower less

Because, let’s be honest, showering means you have to wake up earlier. Plus, if you have hair like mine, it’s way easier to style when it’s a little dirty. It’s like a drought induced beauty bonus!

3) Use a broom

Instead of power washing the loose dirt off your sidewalk and turning it into a sludge pile in the gutter, bring out the broom. You can sweep it into neat piles and toss it rather than draining the river with your hose. Bonus: sweeping engages muscles like your pecs, obliques, and biceps making you that much more ready for bikini season.

4) Turn off the faucet when you brush your teeth

I mean, if you’ve been running the water while brushing your teeth this whole time, shame on whoever taught you how to use a toothbrush.

 5) Water a tree instead of the lawn

Why waste your city restricted two days of outdoor watering on grass? Instead of powering up the sprinklers, learn how to quench a tree  and keep it alive through the heat waves.  I promise your front lawn will green back up with rain this fall, but that tree will keep you cool for many summers to come if you give it a little love (and water).

6) Yellow let it mellow

This starts to take a turn toward hippy, and I understand it’s not for everyone -but consider only flushing the toilet when its necessary. If not flushing  is a non-negotiable for you, consider adding a large rock or jug filled with water to the tank to reduce the water level. Any water you can displace from the tank will be saved with each flush.

7) Speak up

We all share the same water – cities, farms, wildlife – and no one has the right to waste it. If you see someone being negligent or even flagrantly breaking the law, tell them to knock it off or report them to the City. You’re not a snitch, you’re doing what’s right for the environment.


Stay up to date on drought conditions, approved water usage rules, and how you can do your part to help conserve  through the City of Sacramento’s “Spare the Water Sacramento” page.


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