Three years of drought

Chico’s man from Cal Water offers some water-saving tips

Here we are, three years into a drought that has hit California pretty hard, from not only limiting water resources for agriculture and home use but also leaving the landscape vulnerable to fires. Lately, local wells have been in the news for their low levels. There must be something we can do, even if we’re not farmers or living off of wells, to help ease the water crisis in California. Mike Pembroke, manager for the Chico district of Cal Water, offered some tips for conserving:

• Customers can order water-saving plumbing fixtures, such as low-flow shower heads and toilet-leak detection tablets for free from the Cal Water Web site.

• “Turn off the water when you brush your teeth!” Pembroke said. If everyone pitches in, we can save thousands of gallons of water each year.

• Because 60 percent to 70 percent of water use is outdoors, Pembroke recommends cutting back on watering lawns—“A lot of that irrigation water runs right into the gutter.”

• Cut showers down by a few minutes.

• Start changing habits in increments. It’s not easy to take on all these tasks at once. So, pick one and make it a habit; then move on to the next one. Ultimately, our whole community—and state—will benefit.

• Take advantage of rebate programs for low-flush toilets and efficient washing machines.

Log onto the Cal Water Web site at for more water-saving tips and an order form for plumbing fixtures, or visit the Chico office at 2222 Dr. Martin Luther King Blvd. to speak to someone in person.