With climate change causing record heat waves and low rain/snowfall, drought conditions are the new normal for California. Atherton’s water supply, the Bear Gulch, and Hetch Hetchy, are critically low. Conserving water is one of the best - and cheapest - ways to respond to the worsening drought. It also helps reduce greenhouse gases, as water must be moved, treated, heated, or pressurized, which requires pumps and equipment that emit pollution.
What can you do?
CONSERVE WATER AT HOME
Install water-saving plumbing retrofit fixtures and high-efficiency appliances. CalWater provides free Conservation Kits to Atherton residents, and there are a number of rebates available from CalWater, Bay Area Water Supply and Conservation Agency (BAWSCA) to offset the initial investment cost.
INSTALL SMART, DRIP IRRIGATION
Take advantage of CalWater Smart Landscape Tune-Up Program to receive a free irrigation system efficiency evaluation. Converting spray irrigation to drip will dramatically cut your water usage (and bill!), and the CalWater CalWater Spray-to-Drip Program offers rebates per square foot of landscaping converted to drip. Both CalWater and BAWSCA offer rebates for smart irrigation systems.
LANDSCAPE WITH LOW WATER NATIVE PLANTS
You can still have a beautiful yard and reduce your water consumption through low-water and drought-resistant plants. Plants that are adapted to long, dry summers and short, rainy winters are called “Mediterranean-zone” plants. Replace your high-maintenance, water-heavy lawn with drought-tolerant landscaping, and take advantage of the rebates from CalWater Lawn-to-Garden Program and BAWSCA Lawn Be Gone Program.
CAPTURE AND REUSE WATER
Harvesting rainwater or reusing water from your home is a great way to conserve water. Greywater systems capture the water from washing machines, sinks, showers/bathtubs and redirects that water to outdoor irrigation. Free rain barrels and rebates for rain barrels are available from CalWater and BAWSCA