With multiple wildfires burning millions of acres of land throughout California, conserving our natural resources is more important than ever. As of September 14th, 2020, “Nearly 16,500 firefighters continue working to gain containment on the 28 major wildfires across California. Since the beginning of the year, wildfires have burned over 3.2 million acres in California, which is larger than the State of Connecticut. Since August 15, when California’s fire activity elevated, there have been 24 fatalities and over 4,200 structures destroyed” (“California Daily Wildfire Update”).
Wildfires can affect water quality in similar ways that they affect air quality. Therefore, it is important to conserve water during times like this and to monitor water quality when possible. According to the United States Environmental Protection Agency, “During active burning, ash, and contaminants associated with ash settle on streams, lakes and water reservoirs. Vegetation that holds soil in place and retains water is burned away. In the aftermath of a large wildfire, rainstorms flush vast quantities of ash, sediment, nutrients, and contaminants into streams, rivers, and downstream reservoirs” (“Wildfires: How Do They Affect Our Water Supplies?”).
Here are some tips you can use to do your part to help save water during California’s State of Emergency:
- Turn off all outdoor water for irrigation.
- Reduce indoor water use as much as possible (take shorter showers, flush toilets only for solids, only wash full loads of laundry and dishes).
- Stop or reduce outdoor water usage, such as washing your car.
- Turn off auto-fill valves to pools, spas, and other outside water activities.
- Use a bucket to catch and reuse water when washing fruits and vegetables. Use a pot to catch running water when waiting for hot water from faucets. This water can be used to water indoor or outdoor plants and saves gallons of water!
Did we miss any tips? Feel free to contact us and tell us what you would add to our list.