Residents and business owners throughout California are facing unprecedented water restrictions after the state’s Governor issued an executive order to reduce potable water use by twenty-five percent.
California Water Service (Cal Water) already is working with customers on ways to reduce water usage, including inserts in bills, movie theater announcements, drought-tolerant landscaping classes and a soon-to-launch turf removal rebate program.
Cal Water is offering rebates on high-efficiency appliances and irrigation systems. The company recently launched a Fix-a-Leak Week contest, and awarded the winner a new high-efficiency washing machine.
Because renters comprise a significant portion of all households, water savings will continue to be a concern for rental property owners, especially if scarcity drives up the price.
The degree of water conservation cooperation achievable in apartment buildings is directly tied to whether it’s the landlord or tenant who is footing the bill. Apartment owners are in a unique position to contribute to conservation efforts because shared use translates into exponential savings.
Cal Water is reminding consumers that reducing water use is necessary to keep the prices of other necessities — like food — from spiking.
California is not alone in dealing with drought conditions. Some cities in Texas and Nevada, have seen water sources dry up. Costs may spike unless owners act preemptively.
There are some easy ways to update your current rental properties and new rental investments in order to conserve water and cut costs:
Ask tenants to immediately report leaks, including sprinklers and common laundry. Make leak repair a priority.
Replace toilets with low-flow varieties.
Suggest tenants limit showers. According to Cal Water, if every tenant in a building cut just one minute from their daily shower routine, the water savings would be significant.
Install low-flow showerheads.
Install water-saving faucet aerators (available from Cal Water at no cost) to reduce faucet water use even more.
Retool the landscaping to be water wise. Water at night.
Never use potable water to wash sidewalks or driveways.
Gov. Brown’s executive order imposes significant cuts in water use throughout California including a prohibition on new homes and developments from irrigating with potable water unless water-efficient drip irrigation systems are used, creating a temporary, statewide consumer rebate program to replace old appliances with water efficient models, updating standards for toilets and faucets and outdoor landscaping in residential communities and taking action against communities that ignore these standards.
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Disclaimer: The information provided in this post in not intended to be construed as legal advice, nor should it be considered a substitute for obtaining individual legal counsel or consulting your local, state, federal or provincial tenancy laws.