the most recent water bill

We’ve taken a lot of measures to try to conserve water. Each water bill we receive gives us a chance to look at how well we’re doing. Compared to last year, this last bill showed a 40.1% drop for the two-month period of mid-May to mid-July.

40 percent decrease

To get to this point we’ve installed drip irrigation for most of the remaining thirsty plants, reduced the number of times a week the outdoor sprinkler runs, recycled water from the shower, mulched many garden spaces, and replaced some water-intensive plants with low-water or no-water selections. It’s helped that this has been a fairly cool spring and early summer.

Still, 112 gallons a day average total for a household of two people–one of us working 40 hours a week, the other mainly working out of the house–still seems a little on the high side. That’s enough water to flush a 1.6 gallon low-flow toilet 70 times per day. But compared to an American per capita average of something around 60-70 gallons for just indoor usage, I guess that’s not too awful for both indoor and outdoor use.

Hmmm, I wonder if we can get the usage down to less than 100 total gallons a day for the two of us. It might be a little tricky over the summer. But it should be totally doable once the weather cools.

5 thoughts on “the most recent water bill”

  1. That is so awesome! Even the fact the water company provides this info to you. Our electric company does it but not our water company. I haven’t had to water this year so I’m hoping for a big drop too:)

  2. You would be amazed at how simple actions can have so much effect. Things like turning off the water when you brush your teeth can save 3 gallons per day, taking shorter showers saves 5 gallons a day, and installing a smart sprinkler controller saves 40 gallons per day! Check out all the tips on learn to save water and pass it on to all .

  3. I think you’re doing great!

    For us it’s easy to get way below 100/day in winter, but impossible to do so in summer. If you inherit redwood trees, rhodies, and camelias, you pay the price. I’d be thrilled if I stayed around 200/day for July and August. I’ll start reducing the irrigation in August, as the days get shorter, and hope to be down to 40% by October. We’ll see.

    I have found meter watching to be an interesting and useful activity, give it a try!

  4. I have got a long way to go to catch up with you but I intend to try! My only hope is to reduce the lawn by much, much more. Still, the mature (50 yrs +) deodar and avocados are used to a good bit of water. Without those trees on the south side of the house it would get mighty hot in the summer. Many trade offs.

  5. Tina, cool that you haven’t had to water this year. I’m glad that our water company helps us monitor the water usage, because I doubt most people will be maintaining spreadsheets on what they use.

    TM, landscaping inherited from a former resident definitely has its issues! I hate to rip out anything alive, especially if it’s established and provides character to the landscape. I’ve been treating my one camellia as a low-water plant, and it’s been fine. But redwoods and azaleas probably would balk.

    Barbara, I grew up in the San Gabriel Valley, so I can empathize with the summer heat you have to deal with! The water that you use for your mature trees must net you a bit of savings for the parts of the yard you don’t have to water quite so much because of the shelter the trees provide. Shade during the 90-plus-degree days is great, for plants and humans alike.

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