Don’t Let These New Water Laws Catch You By Surprise

TODAY’S RIDDLE: How many days are there in 4 years?

Did you know in 2022, it’s okay to wash your car in California if you use a positive shut off nozzle (make sure the runoff does not hit the gutter or street), but it’s not okay to top off or fill up your decorative fountain, lake or pond with potable water. However, you can use recycled water for filling up fountains, lakes, or ponds. As the mega-drought continues in the West, lawmakers in California are looking for better ways to save water in 2022, and we are here to help you understand them. Many are just good common sense. Here is the run-down of most of the new laws. The new rules prohibit:

  1. The use of potable water for washing sidewalks, driveways, buildings, structures, patios, parking lots, or other hard-surfaced areas, except in cases where health and safety are at risk. So, no more wasteful hosing down your sidewalks and driveways. Instead, a broom works well and will save gallons of water.
  2. The use of potable water that results in flooding or runoff in gutters or streets. Numbers 2 and 3 are related, so let’s jump right to 3.
  3. The use of potable water, except with the use of a positive shut-off nozzle, for the individual private washing of motor vehicles. If you check out my 100 simple ways to save water blog from a few years ago, numbers 23, 24, and 40 will help you. Check them out here. You can wash your car in your yard if you have one. This is necessary because you don’t want the water to run off into the street. Wash your dog, for that matter, in the yard, too (#40). Also, please check your car wash and make sure they recycle the water they use. That is an excellent alternative to washing your car in your yard.
  4. The use of water to irrigate turf and ornamental landscapes during and within 48 hours after measurable rainfall of at least one-fourth of one inch of rain. This requires some rainfall amounts research unless you have a smart controller running Jain Unity software. Jain Unity helps in two ways. First, it is the only software that records usable rainfall and subtracts that number from the amount of water needed for your landscape. It also allows you to find rainfall data in one location so you can quickly see how much rain fell on your specific property. Most importantly, it shuts off your irrigation water before a rainfall event, so your soil is ready to accept the rain (free of charge) water. Not watering before the rain is more critical than after when it comes to saving water.
  5. The use of potable water for irrigation of ornamental turf on public street medians. Street medians are an easy source of overspray since most use spray head irrigation for water. Eliminating turf in the medians and replacing it with low water use plants drip irrigation to eliminate overspray on these narrow landscapes is the best way to go.
  6. The use of potable water for street cleaning or construction purposes, unless no other source of water or another method can be used or, if necessary, to protect the health and safety of the public. This looks like number one again but on a bigger scale. Again, a broom works very well in these situations.
  7. The use of potable water for decorative fountains or the filling or topping-off of decorative lakes or ponds, with exceptions for those decorative fountains, lakes, or ponds which utilize recycled water. If you love your decorative fountain, and I know there are many beautiful residential fountains out there, you have an alternative. Not showering with a bucket now would be a good time to start for residential customers. The wasted water from your shower you catch in the bucket should be enough to keep your fountain going if you like. Also, many fountains are planted with ornamental or editable plants that look beautiful. So now might be an excellent time to convert your fountain.

These new laws will be in place for a year or until removed. You can read more about them if you like here. If you have some additional ideas about saving water or managing a landscape with the new rules in place, please share them in the comments section below.

ANSWER to riddle: (365 x 4) + 1 = 1461. Because one of the years is a leap year.


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2 Responses

  1. Drought restrictions still in forced even though Sierra snowpack is over 20’… i believe Ca reservoirs are at 80% capacity and rising…..

  2. In my opinion, bicause of the California Drought Stage we’re facing now I liked to see this new laws to be enforced by the Estate Legislation and we have to be working all as one teamwork solution to preserve our precious future water resources!

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