The prolonged drought across California in 2017 was exacerbated by two major meteorological factors: climate change and El Niño. The snow melt and torrential rains enjoyed at the beginning of the year seemed like an afterthought as NASA climatologists observing Southern California believe the scant rainfall in October and November signaled the possibility that the region is headed toward another dry year, which would make it the sixth consecutive drought period since 2012. With this forecast in mind, here are five recommendations California homeowners should follow during drought season, brought to you by the National City homeowners insurance experts at Tri-Star Insurance.
1. Keep an Eye on Weather Forecasts
Water conservation is crucial during drought season, and a smart practice during this period is to stay abreast of weather conditions. Modern forecasts tend to predict moisture and rainfall a few days in advance, which would be a good time to turn off the irrigation sprinklers and wait two days after the rain stops to turn them back on. When the forecast calls for high levels of ultraviolet radiation, setting mulch around plants and trees can help them conserve moisture.
2. Practice Good Water Conservation Habits
In homes where it takes a while for the hot water to flow from the shower head, the cold water can be collected for cleaning or watering plants. Turning off faucets while brushing teeth or scrubbing dishes should be second nature for Southern California families. Waiting until a full load of laundry has accumulated before washing can save the neighborhood up to 50 gallons.
3. Harvest Rainwater
As long as California is forced to endure drought conditions, there will always be a potential of residential water shortages and restrictions. Rainwater catchment and harvesting systems are good investments to research at this time, and they are excellent science projects for children and young adults. A basic do-it-yourself rainwater harvesting system requires a 55-gallon barrel, hose, spigot, catchment container, screen, and purification tablets. Alternatively, readymade systems imported from Mexico are often sold in San Diego and Los Angeles.
4. Watch the Prices of Produce
California residents enjoy the advantage of living in a state rich in agricultural production, which means locally grown produce is usually available at lower prices. However, many crops have been deeply impacted by the long drought periods. The price of fruits such as lemons and limes, which require considerable watering, have skyrocketed since 2016, and the same situation has been observed for asparagus, tomatoes, and peppers.
5. Review Low-Flow Plumbing Options
Governor Jerry Brown has been a strong supporter of low-flow plumbing systems, which were an important aspect of passing a 2014 law requiring low-flow toilets for all California homes that are at least two decades old. Shortly after the law went into effect, there were issues related to mismatched low-flow toilets and existing plumbing systems. These days, toilets and fixtures have been upgraded to be more efficient in terms of water conservation, and they are easier to retrofit.
If you own a home and need reliable homeowners insurance, reach out to American Tri-Star. We also offer affordable health, commercial, motorcycle, RV, and auto insurance in National City. Call 619-474-3900 today to receive a free quote.