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Five Ways to Save Water in a Drought Year

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Dry, cracked soil is but one problem in a drought.

Dry, cracked soil is but one problem in a drought.

Not the “D” Word!

In 2014, California, and much of the western part of the United States had only recently recovered from a severe drought situation that lasted for 4 years!

Daily, on television, on the internet, and in print media, we were bombarded with the need to save water. Public agencies constantly harped on the need to cut back drastically on water use, often backed up by the threat of penalties for failure to conserve.

The image of dry, parched soil is only one of the problems associated with a drought. Other issues are related, but less visible, and can impact us all in most uncomfortable ways.

What Penalties?

For most people, there will be an escalating increase in water rates paid if they exceed the mandatory cut-back restrictions. Depending upon the area of the state, and the source of water provided by the local water company, those cut-backs can range from 10% to 20% of prior usage.

Those who insist on flouting the requirements may also be hit with a fine. As a final measure, some districts may install a restrictor device at the water meter.

What About Farmers?

Not even farmers are exempt. Many obtain water from the canal system, and that, too, is metered. Failure to meet the reduction in use may mean their access gets terminated, and that, of course, leads to crop failure, costing them big time.

In any case, even if they voluntarily let fields lie fallow to meet the restrictions, it will affect food crops, and ultimately, the price we pay at the store.

Those who have their own wells on their property may be somewhat better off, but in some cases, even the wells have failed.

So What Can We Do?

There are so many, many familiar messages “out there,” ranging from not leaving the water running while brushing teeth or washing dishes, to suggestions of limiting toilet flushes, that an article is hardly necessary to point out those easily done things.

These particular items are repeated so often that they become more like background noise, and while some statistics show some voluntary conservation, many people may remain unconvinced.

Here is list of five things folks may not have thought to try.

Water drained from washing machines can be used on plants

Water drained from washing machines can be used on plants

1. Recycle “Gray” Water From the Washing Machine

This is safe to use on landscaping. In fact, depending upon the relative locations of your washer and your yard, it may be possible to hook up a garden hose directly to the washer, and route it right outside into the planting area.

Just be sure that the hose is first looped upwards, and held there on a hook of some kind, to avoid constant draining of the washer by gravity. You only want the water to exit when the machine’s pump is in action. (However, be careful that the hose is gently looped; you don’t want it kinked)

What Is Gray Water?

Gray water is found coming from sinks, tubs, showers, and washing machines. It is safe to use on plants, and can be safely handled as well.

Black water, on the other hand, is a definite health hazard, and you don't want to try to re-use it or touch it. The toilet is the most common source of black water.

The difference is why boats have two separate systems; (explained in my article about plumbing aboard a boat) the gray water is drained overboard, while there is a holding tank to contain the black water, and that must be pumped out periodically.

As a side note, be aware that front-loading machines use less water per load than top-loaders. Also, the newer 'high-efficiency' machines are designed to use both less water and less detergent. If you are in the market (or soon will be) for a new washing machine, consider both of these points.

2. Keep a Large Pot or Bucket in the Kitchen and Bathroom

Use it to collect water while you wait for the hot water to arrive.

You would be surprised how many gallons of water are flushed down the drain each day just waiting for the water to get hot.

Every time someone stands at the sink waiting for hot water, or at the tub preparing a bath, gallons and gallons are running wasted down the drain.

This collected water can then be used to water plants, or it can be put into gallon jugs to freeze and save for emergency use.

Waiting for the water to get hot can waste many gallons

Waiting for the water to get hot can waste many gallons

3. Water in the Evening, or Very Early Morning

By doing this, you give the most benefit to the plants, as there is less evaporation. In fact, most plants ‘wake up’ in the morning, so that is the best time to water, but if not possible, then early evening will do.

If possible, use drip irrigation or soaker hoses for border plants, and sprinklers on a timer for lawns.

As a cautionary note, keep an eye on the condition of soaker hoses. They can develop "blowouts," resulting in wasted water. This is most likely to happen in areas subjected to high summer heat or freezing winters. They should be replaced every couple of years as a precaution.

What About Lawns?

Green grass is a fairly standard planting for both front and back yards throughout the USA. It is almost expected. Grass is a double-edged plant, however, both literally and figuratively. These green blades that look so pretty take a lot of work, and quite a bit of water to maintain.

The plus side is the cooling effect of the nice expanse of grass on a scorching hot summer's day. The down side is all that water and work.

In some areas, people are actually encouraged to stop watering their lawns and let them die. It's sad, as it gives a blighted look to the neighborhood, but, in the long run, it is more important to conserve our natural resources.

4. Don’t Buy Bottled Water. Please.

Don’t double-use water by purchasing it in disposable containers when you already pay for water to arrive at your home taps.

If your tap water at home is so vile that even double filtering with water softeners and reverse-osmosis filtration doesn’t make it drinkable, you might then be excused from purchasing outside water. In that case, though, consider a water delivery service, instead of wasteful, single-use plastic bottles.

If there is only a minimal ‘off’ taste to your water, you might want to look into buying a filtration system of some kind, whether for the whole house, or just a portable pitcher type.

Obviously, if you rent your home, the portable pitcher is your only option, unless you have a really awesome landlord. Most, however, are not into any sort of improvements unless failure to do so will cost them more money.

5. Washing Your Vehicle(s)

TV public service announcements (PSAs) will focus on not letting the water run down the sidewalk and gutter by leaving the hose running while the vehicle gets soaped up.

Much like the famous "navy shower" for people—wet down, turn off water, soap up, turn on water & rinse, turn off water and done—is how your car should be washed.

Wash early in the morning or as late in the evening as daylight will allow, not during the heat of the day, so you don't have a problem with soap film drying on the car. That will cause you to use more water to rinse it off.

Better yet, take your car to a commercial automated car wash. The water there is recycled through filters, and does not run off down the street or into the sewer system. Yes, it will cost more than doing it yourself, but it will be less expensive than paying a fine, and certainly less inconvenient than having a restrictor placed on your water meter.

When Will the Drought End?

No one can say.

Some point to overall climate change, sometimes referred to as Global Warming, as an irreversible trend. Some say it's just a recurring cycle.

Whether or not you believe that the climate change is accelerating due to the industrial and agricultural practices of modern society does not matter.

The fact remains that we continue to experience drought conditions, and we must deal with this by whatever means we can think up to conserve our precious water resources.

As of late summer of 2015, the forecasters predicted a very strong "El Nino" effect developing along the eastern Pacific near South America. They expected it to work its way north, and cause a much wetter winter than usual.

Even rain to the point of causing flooding of local creeks and rivers is not enough to erase the shortage caused by four years of drought, so conservation remains important.


Since this article was originally written, we did have a good winter in 2015, with slightly above average rainfall. However, it was not enough to erase 4 years of deficit, so conservation remained a vital practice.

Further Update

As of May 2021, California has continued to see drought conditions, and the 2020 wildfire season was horrific, resulting in the governor declaring a state of emergency. The continuing dry weather contributed greatly to this problem.

As we transition into summer, our rainy season is closing, and there is no doubt that continuing or new restrictions will be imposed.

© 2014 Liz Elias


Liz Elias (author) from Oakley, CA on January 27, 2018:

Thank you very much, Venkatachari M; I am glad you found this article useful, and I appreciate folks such as yourself who are on board with helping to conserve our precious resources.

Venkatachari M from Hyderabad, India on January 27, 2018:

It's a very useful and important message providing nice tips for the water conservation. I also often canvas for saving our resources whenever it is possible by adopting suitable practices.

Liz Elias (author) from Oakley, CA on June 23, 2015:

Hello, Chriswillman90 --

Sadly, you are correct; things have not gotten better at all. In fact, they've gotten worse!

Many thanks for your comments, well-wishes and vote!

Krzysztof Willman from Parlin, New Jersey on June 23, 2015:

Since you wrote this things obviously haven't gotten much better. Luckily the wet May helped but it's still just a trickle for parts of the west and southwest US. I've been following this drought for a long time from afar, NJ, but I know how difficult things must be. Thanks for writing about this because more people need to be informed about water usage and preservation. Voted up.

Liz Elias (author) from Oakley, CA on June 16, 2015:

Hello, poetryman6969--

Thanks very much for the vote; I'm glad you liked this article. I agree with you; I have been saying for years that So. CA needs to explore desalinization with great urgency. The technology already exists--it's not as if it has yet to be invented!

You raise excellent points as well, about agricultural runoff.

poetryman6969 on June 16, 2015:

Voted up!

Given that I have just moved to southern California I regard your information as timely and useful.

The drought will never end because some of us live in a desert.

In the long run we can get all the water we would ever need from the ocean. We can even get it will a low carbon foot print by using solar stills and saltwater greenhouses to desalinate the water. The sun can help us desalinate all the water we would ever need.

As some point out, the time for the politicians to embark upon the aggressive ground water management projects to mitigate the drought was 40 years ago. As long as rain runoff is going the Pacific ocean, you know the politicians have not yet done what they need to do. They need to build more reservoirs and to direct runoff to recharge aquifers. You might say we can no longer afford to spurn the gift of free water from the skies. Also, agricultural runoff and residential waste water and runoff cannot be allowed to escape either. All that water must be reused.

Liz Elias (author) from Oakley, CA on November 07, 2014:

Hello, MizBejabbers,

Oh, that sounds dreadful! We don't have an 'on-demand' water heater; just a regular one. (Which we had to replace just the past week, as the old one blew out!)

But of all the things I do to save water, turning the water off while soaping up is not one of them! I cannot STAND to be cold, and when you turn off the water, (especially in the winter) chilled and cold is what you get in between. I manage to complete the process efficiently, though so I do take quick showers. (Unless I'm taking a therapeutic hot shower for a backache!) But, I don't do that often, and not in a drought--I use the heating pad instead.

Thanks so much for chipping in to the discussion! Hubby was wishing we could afford an 'on demand' water heater. I'll inform him that he does not want that, after all! Thanks for that info! ;-)

Doris James MizBejabbers from Beautiful South on November 07, 2014:

RE cutting water off while you soap up in the shower: We installed an on-demand water heater. I tried that and was rewarded with a deluge of cold water when I turned it back on, and then the shower wastes water while you wait for the hot water to come again. Anybody else with the same problem? :)

Liz Elias (author) from Oakley, CA on November 07, 2014:

Hello, MelRootsNWrites !

Thanks for chiming in! That was a bad time in the 70's. I, too, am a CA native, and I remember; (also the doggoned odd/even gas days and lines around the block!)

That's a really good tip about turning the shower on/off again. I never thought of that. I'll definitely be trying it. Our hot water seems to take for-freaking-ever to get to the shower, and, it's the second-shortest run in the whole house (the shortest being the laundry)! Go figure!

I'm glad you like the article. Your comment is much appreciated.

Melody Lassalle from California on November 06, 2014:

I've lived in CA all my life. I remember the 7 year drought in the 70s. Unfortunately, you get lazy during the good years. We've been trying to reduce with some success. We're fortunate that we don't have a front lawn so there's no waste there. I've been taking a bucket into the shower with me. The water from that can get a couple potted plants.

One tip I have is on colder evenings when that first burst of chilly water from the shower is too much, turn the hot water on for a couple of seconds, then turn it off. Wait 20-30 seconds and then try again. This gives the hot water heater a little time to get the water heated. You'll waste less water trying to warm it up.

Thanks for this excellent article!

Liz Elias (author) from Oakley, CA on November 05, 2014:

Hello Mary!

Yes, you are right; conserving water at all times is the best practice. That said, if you over-conserve with extreme measures in good times, it can backfire on you badly, as happened to an acquaintance of mine years back. They were so good at saving water, with a family of 4, that when the restrictions hit, they ended up getting fined for not cutting back. But really, they had nowhere else to cut; their backs were against the wall.

Thanks so very much for the praise, well-wishes, and votes!

Mary Craig from New York on November 05, 2014:

Great hub of the day filled with useful information. Everyone is hit by drought at some time or other. Even if you've never had to "officially" conserve water it's a good thing to do anyway! Learning to turn off water when not in immediate use (brushing teeth, washing hair, etc.) can help save more water than you realize.

Voted up, useful, interesting and filled with prayers the drought will end soon.

Liz Elias (author) from Oakley, CA on November 04, 2014:

Hi there, Audrey!

Thanks so very much! I was so surprised to have this hub chosen. I imagine living in the forest is wonderful; I always enjoyed camping in forested areas.

Audrey Hunt from Pahrump NV on November 04, 2014:

Liz -

You've written an excellent hub on how to save water. I like the 'gray water' tip and plan on trying this maybe next summer. Living in the forest, here in So Cal, we rarely water - no need. I also like your tip to save running water while waiting for it to heat up.

Congratulations on HOTD!

Debra Allen from West Virginia on November 04, 2014:

Oh ours was 250 feet down and we did not have a holding tank. Where the well was we had to have something like what you see on the roads where the water main enters under the roads. I can't remember what they are called. Anyway we removed that and there was the well. It was tricky getting the water to stay in the bucket while we brought it up to the surface.

Liz Elias (author) from Oakley, CA on November 04, 2014:

Hello, Lady Guinevere,

Yes, that is a good idea for when it rains. So far, we've had only one rainy day, and wouldn't you know, it was on Halloween. I felt sorry for the trick-or-treating kids.

Ah, yes, the old "army/navy shower" trick. That's another option to use. I try to do quick showers, as I can't stand baths. I just don't feel clean sitting in the water with the dirt I just washed off of myself.

We do have a well, and knock wood, it's holding up ok. We use that instead of the city water for our grounds, but if it goes, it's all mechanical, and with a holding tank and electric pump; all sealed off. No way to lower a bucket. Besides, it's in the 2nd aquifer, over 200 feet down. I don't think a bucket would work well there! ;-)

Thanks very much for your valuable input.

Debra Allen from West Virginia on November 04, 2014:

We put those 33 gallon trash can under our downspouts and use that for watering our gardens and such. I don't guess that that would help those who are not getting rain though.

When you shower get yourself wet then turn off the water and soap yourself up really good. Stand there for a few and then turn the shower back on and rinse off.

A bath is much better because you use a whole lot less water.

When I lived in Virginia we had a well and it ran dry one year. We took baths in a metal tub that they use on farms and such. We would bring up the little water that was in the well with a bucket tied on the end of a rope.

Liz Elias (author) from Oakley, CA on November 04, 2014:

@ ArtDiva - Yes--and our politicians want to send even more water to So. Cal. What the heck?? Aren’t we short of water enough already?

@ Mary615 - Thank you very much. Yes, and does it not aggravate you when you see city landscaping blithely running the sprinklers no one else is supposed to be using??? Thanks much for the votes & share!

@ rajeshcpandey - You are so correct. Thanks so much for your input and I’m glad you found the article ‘enlightening.’

@ mySuccess8 - That, too, is another aspect of saving water; the expense of water treatment plants. Thanks very much for your kudos.

@ Sunshine625 - Hi there! I hope you never do have to deal with a drought; it’s no fun. Thanks for your congrats! ;-)

@ wordswithlove - Yes, awareness is key, and I do try to do my part. We are in the third year of a drought situation now, and things are getting critical. Everyone must conserve; not just Californians, for water is a finite resource.

@ Thelma Alberts - Thank you so very much! I’m glad you found the article worthwhile ;-)

@ greatstuff - True enough; some people just don’t or won’t ‘get it’ until it hits them in the wallet, and they have to pay a fine! Thank you very much for stopping by and offering your congrats.

@ Rtalloni - Thank you very much, indeed! I was quite surprised, and more so with the overwhelming response! And yes--the double standard issue has always chapped my hide! There’s nothing I hate worse than one set of rules for business and another, more stringent, for individuals!

@ heidithorne - Thank you! I’m delighted you liked the article so much.

@ word55 - Yes, indeed; we only have so much water on the planet, and we’ve already lost a good deal of it to contamination. Thanks very much for your kudos!

@ Marisa Wright - I have never been to Australia, though I wish I could visit! I don’t know much about the climate, but when you see photos of the great expanse of the Outback, it doesn’t seem surprising that drought and water conservation would be on everyone’s mind 24/7/365. Thanks so much for your additional suggestion! As for the final issue, I have NO idea why anyone leaves water running while brushing teeth. It sure isn’t helping the task, for sure!

@ nightcats - Hello! Good to see you over here, as well as on BWS. Thanks very much for stopping by and offering your congrats! Much appreciated!

@ techygran - Thank you so very much! I’m most pleased you (and everyone else) liked it so much.

@ AudreyHowitt - **Takes low bow.** Thank you, thank you, thankyouverymuch!

@ Learn Things Web - Decreasing the size of lawn certainly does help. Thanks very much for your input.

@ colorfulone - I’m delighted you found the article useful, and I thank you for your congratulations. Much appreciated!

Susie Lehto from Minnesota on November 04, 2014:

Liz, congratulations on another Editor's Choice. This is very useful information for people living in drought areas. Thankfully, I have not lived through a drought here in the north-land.

LT Wright from California on November 04, 2014:

#2 is so simple yet something I never thought of doing. We put down some concrete in our backyard to make our lawn a little smaller. We're buying a new house with a much smaller backyard and plan to make it all concrete with plants around the edges to keep our water use down.

Audrey Howitt from California on November 04, 2014:

Congrats on HOTD! Important and timely article!

Cynthia Zirkwitz from Vancouver Island, Canada on November 04, 2014:

Congratulations on the HOTD for this excellent hub!

June Campbell from North Vancouver on November 04, 2014:

Hi, Congratulations on being HOTD. Did you know you were here? It's a worthwhile lens for sure.

Kate Swanson from Sydney on November 04, 2014:

I live in Australia where drought is a constant threat and water is often short even in good times. We take some measures - like not having sprinklers - for granted.

Another idea that's well worth trying - always have a bucket on the floor of the shower. You will be astonished how much water is collected.

And why DO people run the tap while they're brushing their teeth anyway?

Al Wordlaw from Chicago on November 04, 2014:

Congrats MsLizzy! Great write up. Precious water needs to be preserved. Thank you so much for sharing and creating a HOTD!

Heidi Thorne from Chicago Area on November 04, 2014:

Great hub on a very real issue we're facing all over the country! Very deserving of Hub of the Day. Congrats!

RTalloni on November 04, 2014:

Congrats on your Hub of the Day award.

Taking care of our water supplies is important and it's good to see a new conversation started on the topic.

Comments re how municipalities do not follow the same guidelines they force on residents and businesses are a huge part of the discussion.

Being good stewards of the gifts we have been given in the earth is wisdom in action!

Mazlan A from Malaysia on November 04, 2014:

We had annual dry spells here and the reservoir level will run dangerously low. Even with all the tips and advice on how to save water (no fine/penalty yet), I don't think many follow them. The government had to spend a fair amount of money to do cloud seeding, which works!

You have offered several good tips that we should also follow.

Congrats on your HOTD.

Thelma Alberts from Germany on November 04, 2014:

Congratulations on the HOTD! A very well deserved hub with loads of very important and useful informations. Thank you. Enjoy your day!

Neetu M from USA on November 04, 2014:

Creating awareness and spreading it, as you are doing through this hub, is crucial to dealing with the drought situation, DzyMsLizzy. I live on the east coast but go periodically to California, and was there for a bit this summer. I saw the concern about this more this time than I have in the past. High time too! If Californians don't shape up and conserve water, the whole country will pay the price. Great hub and advice.

Linda Bilyeu from Orlando, FL on November 04, 2014:

I never had to deal with a drought but I do conserve water at all times...excellent tips! Congrats on HOTD! :)

mySuccess8 on November 04, 2014:

Conserving natural water resource should be practiced by all, especially during droughts, as you have rightly emphasized in this article. Water demands are increasing every year, while resources are becoming more and more limited. In many cities and major towns around the world, wastewater (that is, both gray water and black water mentioned in this article) from the kitchens, bathrooms, toilets, etc, goes to wastewater treatment plants which are expensive to operate and maintain. Controlling the amount of wastewater that has to be treated at these wastewater treatment plants can save a lot of operating and maintenance costs. Congrats on Hub of the Day!

RAJESH CHANDRA PANDEY from India on November 04, 2014:

Be it a drought situation or not we must enter into an agreement with ourselves over the restricted use of water as the writer has indicated very aptly. Thanks a lot for such an enlightening piece.

Mary Hyatt from Florida on November 04, 2014:

Congrats on your HOTD! Your advice is certainly sound advice no matter where one lives! I live in Florida, and have experienced dry spells from time to time. Our community will impose a fine for watering lawns, washing cars, etc. during certain days when NO water should be used.

Everyone should conserve water: "they aren't making it any more"!

I always use a rain barrel to catch the rain (when we have it), and I agree with your grey washing machine water goes right out onto the ground.

I see so much waste of water from automatic sprinklers, too.

Voted UP, etc. and shared.

ArtDiva on November 04, 2014:

I live in Northern California. This being the 2nd drought condition. Most of us respect the restrictions to conserve, but one of the biggest draw on water is the agriculture, especially in the central part of the state. Just read how much water it takes to produce an almond, a big product worldwide. Pardon the pun, but I think we will weather through it, hopefully with a wet winter, and without drying up all our resources. Good article!

Liz Elias (author) from Oakley, CA on November 02, 2014:

Hello, Mark Tulin - I know; and the ironic thing here, is cities are as bad. I see landscaping sprinklers on highway medians blissfully tossing water into the roadway, and no one seems to care about that!

And, when we do get rain, as often as not, the automatic programming still has the sprinklers running! I think the cities need to practice what they preach!

I'm glad you liked the article; thanks much for your observant comment.

Mark Tulin from Long Beach, California on November 02, 2014:

I live in the central coast and we aren't aggressive enough here in conserving water. I walk around and see water sprinklers wasting water. While some Cali towns have water watchdogs, we don't and people just write off the drought to "the cycle" and they believe that the rains will eventually come. Thanks for your informative hub.

Liz Elias (author) from Oakley, CA on October 05, 2014:

Hi there, teaches12345 - Droughts are never fun to deal with, but we all have to remember that the planet writes the rules, not people. The sooner people learn to work with mother nature instead of against her, the better off everyone will be. Thanks so much; I'm glad you liked the article.

Dianna Mendez on October 04, 2014:

We went through a drought about four years ago in South Florida. The city eventually had to fine people who used over a normal amount of water. Your ideas are all wonderful, especially the shower advice. I hope California soon sees an end to this dry spell. Blessings.

Liz Elias (author) from Oakley, CA on September 28, 2014:

@ faythef -- Yes, I'm a CA native, and I've never lived anywhere else. My current laundry room setup does not allow for the capture of gray water from the laundry, but on the other hand, I do have "high efficiency" machines which use less water in the first place. I'm glad you found the article useful.

@ techygran (Cynthia) -- Thanks so very much; I'm pleased you were able to find some worthwhile pointers here. Because of cats, we have no indoor plants, but it is just as usable on outdoor plants. Cheers!

Cynthia Zirkwitz from Vancouver Island, Canada on September 28, 2014:

DzyMsLizzy, I appreciated this clearly-written article with a couple of additional things I can actually put into place to conserve water here: the grey water idea and remembering to catch the water I waste in my kitchen to water my indoor plants with, at the very least. I liked your succinct explanation of grey water (and black water). ~Cynthia

Faythe Payne from USA on September 28, 2014:

Thanks for this useful article..we are having a drought here in California..tomorrow is laundry day..I am going to see if I can collect some of that water for my very thirsty plants.

Liz Elias (author) from Oakley, CA on September 25, 2014:

Hello, MizBejabbers,

Me too! I feel like shaking them! Little to they realize they are paying for what they already have. And those "fill-it-yourself" water machines in some stores?? Same thing! They're just hooked up to the local water supply, and filtered. Nothing you cannot do at home, and without double-paying for water.

Thanks so much for your input and support.

Doris James MizBejabbers from Beautiful South on September 25, 2014:

It irritates the daylights out of me to see people buying cases of bottle water. The water in our city is excellent. So good, in fact, that the Coca-Cola Bottling Company bottles it and sells it under its own brand name (it says so in the fine print on the bottle). I think they filter it first. Perhaps I shouldn’t judge people, but it really irritates me to see them buying this water when it is available through their taps and all they have to do is run it through a filter pitcher if they don't want the purifying chemicals.

Liz Elias (author) from Oakley, CA on September 24, 2014:

Hello, firstday;

Thanks so much for stopping by and leaving your impression. I agree that too many folks take water for granted.

Liz Elias (author) from Oakley, CA on September 24, 2014:

@ Craftypicks--Here in CA, I'm not aware of any cash incentives for removing lawns, however, folks are 'strongly encouraged' to cease watering lawns and let them die. You are correct; maintaining grass is a lot of bother, but on the other hand, the nice, green front yard exerts a cooling effect on a blistering hot day.

Some people have replaced lawns with food crops. Not an option for us, as we live on a school route, and the front yard could well be subject to theft and/or vandalism of such plantings. :-(

We are lucky, as we do have a well, and are able to use that source for our landscape, thus using the city water supply only inside the house.

However, thanks for reminding me of the other thing I meant to mention in my article--I'll have to go back and edit that bit in. ;-)

@ MsDora--Thanks so much for your kind comment. I'm most pleased you found the article useful.

Rebecca Be from Lincoln, Nebraska on September 24, 2014:

I found your Hub useful and do feel people take water for granted.

Dora Weithers from The Caribbean on September 24, 2014:

Here, we make much use of gray water on our plants, though I didn't know it had a name. I appreciate this article for its information on something so necessary. Thanks!

Lori Green from Las Vegas on September 24, 2014:

They pay you in Nevada to pull out your lawn. I did it 8 years ago. They haven't rationed water where I am, but my friend in So. Cal has that all the time in the Summer. My friend in Texas is not allowed to run water while brushing her teeth. In my opinion grass is always a huge waste of space and a lot of work.

Liz Elias (author) from Oakley, CA on September 24, 2014:

Hi there, Susan! Gosh, but you're quick!! Thanks for being the first to comment. ;-)

Yes, it is a bit of a pain in the neck, and we have been through this before. But, all things considered, I cannot imagine living anywhere else.

Thanks so much for stopping by; I'm glad you liked the article.

Susan Zutautas from Ontario, Canada on September 24, 2014:

I remember a time while living in California where we had to save water. I feel so bad about you guys out there and wish that I could ship you water to end the drought. Very useful hub!