Editorial: Go with the flow and reduce water use

As the Metropolitan Water District stood poised to declare on Tuesday that drought conditions have escalated to Level 2 - meaning that it will deliver less water to area water districts and declare mandatory conservation - we figured it's timely to start preparing for what's to come.

Although the board had not voted by the Light's press time, it seems all but a certainty a declaration is coming.

When the MWD, the region's largest water supplier, moves to the next level, we're all going to be looking at a range of new restrictions on water use passed on through the San Diego County Water Authority.

And that goes, too, for businesses that are members of BIOCOM - those that keep the region on the cutting edge of technology and biotechnology.

Acknowledging that conservation is a fact of life in this desert region of ours, the organization has been working with the mayor's office and water department representatives to find sensible ways to deal with our drought emergency.

While any new rules have yet to filter down to the local level, we've already been warned.

Mayor Jerry Sanders' plan, on hold for the time being, could require cuts of up to 45 percent on outside water use and 5 percent inside at home. Business would face the same outside cuts, but only 3 percent inside.

If you love your flower gardens and green lawns, now is the time to regroup. Visit the water conservation gardens at Quail Gardens or Cuyamaca College. Think about what you can do with your irrigation system.

Some people have turned back to gray-water systems, which is frowned upon. But the idea of catching that water when the shower is warming up and using it on the plants by the back door isn't so far-fetched.

If you're thinking about remodeling your kitchen or buying a new washer, check out rebate programs for water-efficient models at

www.20gallonchallenge.com

.

While funding is limited, programs offer as much as $135 for new, efficient models of washing machines or $25 for water-saving toilets. There are even programs for irrigation systems.

And even if you don't do anything more, turn off the water when you brush your teeth or skip that second shower.

Think dry and act drier.

   
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