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Drought time in California-what can we do?

We sensed this was coming, was just around the corner, but now it's official: California is in a state of drought. The headlines hit us on just about a daily basis:

"California Drought: 17 Communities Could Run Out of Water" proclaimed the San Jose Mercury

"California Drought: meager snowpack sets record" the San Francisco Chronicle tells us.

And direct from the Governor's office, "Governor Brown Declares Drought State of Emergency"

Finally, on January 30 we expected our first rain "storm" for the month. How did we do?

"Bay Area Weather: when it rains it sprinkles" SF Gate tells us downtown San Francisco received .003" of precipitation; Mt. Diablo received the most -- .018"

Let it rain shirtWhat can we do, other than a rain dance? The first step is awareness. The second is accepting that drought is real in California, and be willing to make some life-style changes so we use less water.

Living in an apartment or condominium means taking small steps. We can:

  • Put water in the basin when washing one's face or scrubbing vegetables
  • Not let the water run while brushing teeth
  • Flush toilets only when necessary
  • Take shorter showers
  • Take fewer baths, and don't fill up the tub when we bathe

Being aware of our water use habits helps me find ways to conserve that aren't onerous.

Share your ideas how condo owners and apartment dwellers can use less water, won't you?

--- Come for a visit; Stay for a lifetime!

Lottie Kendall, Realtor®

Compass

CA DRE#10215160; 650-465-4547

Lottie@LottieKendall.com

www.LottieKendall.com

Peninsula Living Business Page

www.SFCondosForMe.com

 

 

Comment balloon 51 commentsLottie Kendall • January 31 2014 08:06AM

Comments

Lottie,

I think many areas will be short on water this year. I agree that awareness is the first step. There are little things we can do to help, like you've listed, it just takes time and effort. Thanks for the post.

Posted by Trisha Bush-LeFore, Providing Realtor Services in the Walla Walla Area (Preferred Properties Land & Homes) over 6 years ago

Hi Lottie -Those are good ideas for the rest of us (who are not living in drought conditions) as well.  We should all try to conserve water year round, not just because it saves us money but because it is better on our environment as well.

Posted by Donny Carter, Mountain Maryland Real Estate Expert (Carter & Roque Real Estate) over 6 years ago

Lottie, Water is a valuable resource that we think little of until it's in short supply.  Your reminder and challenge for conservation is very timely.  It's too bad it's not as simple as wearing one of those "Let it Rain" T-Shirts shown in the photo.  Nice touch!

Posted by Rebecca Foresee, Let's foresee the possibilities . and get results! (Alain Pinel Realtors) over 6 years ago

Lottie: We actually had a quick little rain storm come through here in Carmel last night, but this morning, it's all gone and the weather is back to being beautiful. Unfortunately, that has its drawbacks as you pointed out. Drought. I am doing my bit, no more baths (only kidding!!!). But I have started to do less laundry, waiting until I have a full load. No dishwasher use, etc. 

Posted by Hella M. Rothwell, Broker/Realtor®, Rothwell Realty Inc. CA#01968433 Carmel-by-the-Sea over 6 years ago

Lottie  Colorado has been aggressive in protecting our water.  We do realize water is a precious resource...and limited supply.  When I run water for drinking I always think about how many people could have a drink.  I know I am wasteful... 

Posted by John G. Johnston, An Exclusive Buyer's Agent ~ Westcliffe, CO (John G. Johnston & Associates, LLC) over 6 years ago

We are in a drought more often than not in Utah, after all we do live in a desert so it is something we are used to dealing with.  As we move forward and populations increase and water tables decrease this will become more and more of a problem.

Posted by Scott Larson, Park City, Utah Real Estate News (BHHS/Utah Properties) over 6 years ago

Trisha, we're definitely not alone in California needing to conserve water. the time has come.

Donny, I like to think of us as "land stewards" rather than "land owners." Not squandering water then falls more naturally into our mind sets.

Yes, Rebecca, my shirt hasn't yet brought water flowing from the skies--nor my rain dances; so, now it's time to take more concrete steps.

Posted by Lottie Kendall, Helping make your real estate dreams a reality (Compass) over 6 years ago

Hella, it's clear skies and gorgeous sun here in San Francisco today, too. Being aware of our laundry and dishwashing habits is definitely helpful.

John, awareness is a good thing, and will start our practices to change.

Scott, your area is arid, indeed. Increased demand of a limited supply will force some changes in Utah as well as California and much of the west.

Posted by Lottie Kendall, Helping make your real estate dreams a reality (Compass) over 6 years ago

Lottie, I love the photo ... the AR T-shirt is perfect for what we need in California. I was hopeful that we might actually get rain ... but what we got for two days was nothing more than moisture, IMHO. 

Posted by Kathleen Daniels, San Jose Homes for Sale-Probate & Trust Specialist (KD Realty - 408.972.1822) over 6 years ago

We were all hoping, Kathleen. It misted enough to clean up the air a bit, but not help in any other way. I think we're in for a rough ride this year.

Posted by Lottie Kendall, Helping make your real estate dreams a reality (Compass) over 6 years ago

We picked up a bit of rain in Sacramento but the sun is out today. I'd rather see it pouring rain, much as I dislike winter weather. We've been flushing less often, bathing in half the water, letting dishes soak in the sink to run the dishwaser on low, running fewer loads of laundry and not washing down the driveway with the hose. This water shortage is freaking me out.

Posted by Elizabeth Weintraub Sacramento Realtor Top 1%, Put 40 years of experience to work for you (RE/MAX Gold) over 6 years ago

 Good morning, Lottie. Does it ever rain in California? That is the question I would like to know. I do not think that I have ever been to California when I have not seen the hillsides all covered in various shades of brown.

Posted by TeamCHI - Complete Home Inspections, Inc., Home Inspectons - Nashville, TN area - 615.661.029 (Complete Home Inspections, Inc.) over 6 years ago

Good morning Lottie. Great tips to all about conserving water. Hopefully all will follow your suggestions, until the rains come.

make it a great weekend!

Posted by Joe Petrowsky, Your Mortgage Consultant for Life (Mortgage Consultant, Right Trac Financial Group, Inc. NMLS # 2709) over 6 years ago

Hi Elizabeth - if everyone would take the steps you're taking, it surely would help. I remember in the late 70s when watering lawns was banned; our neighborhoods looked like wastelands -- but that's a topic for another post!

Hello Joe - conserving water is essential and critical now; wise always.

Posted by Lottie Kendall, Helping make your real estate dreams a reality (Compass) over 6 years ago

Michael, if you visit the Bay Area/Silicon Valley in January, February, March you'd usually see verdant green grassy hills, like this shot from along I-280 near Belmont; not this year.

green grasslands in San Mateo County

Posted by Lottie Kendall, Helping make your real estate dreams a reality (Compass) over 6 years ago

Hello Lottie,

Great post and tips to help conserve this precious resource!

Posted by Lisa Von Domek, ....Experience Isn't Expensive.... It's Priceless! (Lisa Von Domek Team) over 6 years ago

We're actually in a drought - less serious - in the Pacific Northwest too. It's a been a very dry winter - normally, I'm ready to move about now due to the clouds and rain. Not happening this year. Hoping the rains hit soon, and that folks will do their part to conserve this spring and summer Lottie.

Posted by Debb Janes EcoBroker and Bernie Stea JD, REALTORS® in Clark County, WA (ViewHomes of Clark County - Nature As Neighbors) over 6 years ago

Hi Lisa - I just read that the daily average gallons of water used per person in California is 100; in San Francisco (with none to small yards) that drops to 49. Water is, indeed precious.

Debb, I didn't realize you were also short on rainfall. Fingers crossed!

Posted by Lottie Kendall, Helping make your real estate dreams a reality (Compass) over 6 years ago
Lottie. My son said he is losing a lot of plants and bushes because of the drought. Good luck - let it rain!!! Good shirt!
Posted by Dagny Eason, Fairfield County CT, CDPE Homes For Sale and Condo (Dagny's Real Estate) over 6 years ago

This is also important for buying and selling homes. 

Home buyers in some areas are likely to favor homes that have good water management features. 

I know I would.

Posted by Lenn Harley, Real Estate Broker - Virginia & Maryland (Lenn Harley, Homefinders.com, MD & VA Homes and Real Estate) over 6 years ago

I lived through one of those droughts in California back in the 1970's. Not fun for sure. Another tip: use paper plates so you don't need to wash dishes.

Posted by Nina Hollander, Your Charlotte/Ballantyne/Waxhaw/Fort Mill Realtor (Coldwell Banker Realty) over 6 years ago

Good morning and this is some good Info for all in your area!! Keep up the good work and good luck in 2014,  E

Posted by Ed & Tracy Oliva, The Oliva Team Arizona Agents (West USA Realty - Arizona) over 6 years ago

Good morning and this is some good Info for all in your area!! Keep up the good work and good luck in 2014,  E

Posted by Ed & Tracy Oliva, The Oliva Team Arizona Agents (West USA Realty - Arizona) over 6 years ago

Good morning and this is some good Info for all in your area!! Keep up the good work and good luck in 2014,  E

Posted by Ed & Tracy Oliva, The Oliva Team Arizona Agents (West USA Realty - Arizona) over 6 years ago

Good morning and this is some good Info for all in your area!! Keep up the good work and good luck in 2014,  E

Posted by Ed & Tracy Oliva, The Oliva Team Arizona Agents (West USA Realty - Arizona) over 6 years ago

Good morning and this is some good Info for all in your area!! Keep up the good work and good luck in 2014,  E

Posted by Ed & Tracy Oliva, The Oliva Team Arizona Agents (West USA Realty - Arizona) over 6 years ago

Good morning and this is some good Info for all in your area!! Keep up the good work and good luck in 2014,  E

Posted by Ed & Tracy Oliva, The Oliva Team Arizona Agents (West USA Realty - Arizona) over 6 years ago

Lottie, everyone will have to pitch in to conserve water. They had a feature on our news yesterday where in Sacramento the marina was on dry land. Let it rain!

Posted by Michael Setunsky, Your Commercial Real Estate Link to Northern VA over 6 years ago

Dagny, I'm sorry to hear your son is already losing plants. I'm afraid there will be a lot more of that.

Lenn, water conserving features are definitely good selling points, and will only become more so.

Nina, I was here, too, watching my plants die. No fun, indeed.

Posted by Lottie Kendall, Helping make your real estate dreams a reality (Compass) over 6 years ago

Ed & Tracy - I hope we all keep up the good work when it comes to water conservtion. It's time.

Michael, we're heading into another gorgeous, sunny day - unfortunately.

Posted by Lottie Kendall, Helping make your real estate dreams a reality (Compass) over 6 years ago

What ticks me off is that all of s sudden its an emergency? Does anyone who is in charge know the meaning of PRO-ACTIVITY? When the water is gone, do we need someone to tell us that? How about someone who makes sure it is never close to gone by staying far ahead of any potential problem...now that is a valued person...

Posted by Richie Alan Naggar, agent & author (people first...then business Ran Right Realty ) over 6 years ago
I live in Austin, where we have had drought conditions almost every year for the past decade. I think the exception was 2007, when it rained heavily throughout much of the summer (very rare). I don't live in a condo, so the primary difference for us is the inability to water our yards.
Posted by Jason Crouch, Broker - Austin Texas Real Estate (512-796-7653) (Austin Texas Homes, LLC) over 6 years ago

Last year we had record rains in Oklahoma City after a decade of drought that got worse in 2011 and 2012. Problem is people have short memories and that one year of rain saw abuse on the overuse of water. Fortunately our city government enforced water bans on events like using sprinkler systems on off or even days and the fines were large. With climate change we are going to have to face facts and curb the abuse and be conscious of habits like when brushing out teeth letting water run at full bore and wasting a precous resource.

Posted by Joe Pryor, REALTOR® - Oklahoma Investment Properties (The Virtual Real Estate Team) over 6 years ago

Lottie,  I'd have to add ... not wash the car.  That's a big one for Realtors ... always wanting it to be show ready.  I simply apologize and explain that I am taking part in conserving water.  The inside is always clean.

Posted by Kathleen Daniels, San Jose Homes for Sale-Probate & Trust Specialist (KD Realty - 408.972.1822) over 6 years ago

One Suggestion might be to..... MOVE, to somewhere water is less of an issue, soon we will know that water might be more precious than oil.....

Posted by Peter Pfann @ eXp Realty Pfanntastic Properties in Victoria, Since 1986., Talk To or Text Peter 250-213-9490 (eXp Realty, Victoria BC www.pfanntastic.com) over 6 years ago

Lottie  I've got to add to Kathleen's comment (#35) that when you live in an area that 80% of the roads are not paved...I like to comment to my clients that my Jeep normally isn't this clean!

Posted by John G. Johnston, An Exclusive Buyer's Agent ~ Westcliffe, CO (John G. Johnston & Associates, LLC) over 6 years ago

Lottie, this will seriously affect all of us in the produce aisle. Here, we don't even get water in a restaurant unless we ask for it.  Good suggestions for conserving water use from all the comments- I'm dancing and praying for rain for California.

Posted by Mary Douglas, REALTOR, Red Feather Lakes, Colorado (United Country Ponderosa Realty, Red Feather Lakes, Colorado) over 6 years ago

Is California developing the desalination industry to make fresh water from sea water?

Posted by Jerry Lucas, Mobile Notary Colorado Springs, CO Notary Training (ABC Legal Docs LLC) over 6 years ago

Lottie

Thanks for joining the crowd spreading the word about the drought. I have postcard I use in my farming that address this - sent it last fall and will send again next month. I'm waiting for our county to implement mandatory restrictions - it's just a matter of time.

Some other things - do you REALLY need a daily shower? Don't run the water while shaving, turn off that irrigation (at least cut WAY back).

Jeff

Posted by Jeff Dowler, CRS, The Southern California Relocation Dude (eXp Realty of California) over 6 years ago

Lottie, congratulations on talking about the new normal for water in California. Frankly, water is an issue in the many parts of the country, including the Southwest. In other places, it is an issue bacause of pollution. Look at the situation in Charleston, WVa and the toxic chemical spill. Water is a precious resource. I applaud you for telling the story and offering good tips. One more tip would be to get involved in your local community to make sure local government finds ways to make water use information transparent. It is important to know the largest water users and water savers. 

 

 

Posted by Emily Medvec, Realtor | Serving Santa Fe & Northern NM (eXp Realty LLC) over 6 years ago

Richie, if you lived through water rationing in California in the 1970s you probably already use water thoughtfully. Until I sold my house in 2011, I still would take water from washing veges, etc. out to water my patio room plants.

Jason, in a condo I won't have any way of knowing if I'm cutting back by 10%, 20% or what, so I just need to be more aware of useage -- and by putting in low-flow shower heads.

Joe, human nature to get slopping in our habits - we've got to change that.

Kathleen, not washing the car would help. Today's rain (finally!) did a good job for me when I was in San Jose earlier.

Posted by Lottie Kendall, Helping make your real estate dreams a reality (Compass) over 6 years ago

Peter, before I did that, I'd make some big changes in lifestyle (e.g., type of gardening, thoughtless use of water).

John, having a brother who lives 10 miles off I-80 near Elko, Nevada, I've experienced what dirt road driving does to one's car. Luckily, your clients must know the same.

Mary, I get very concerned when I read that water will not be diverted to ranchers and farmers this year; we all depend upon their success.

Jerry, it seems every time some serious thought is given to desalination plants, others decide it's too expensive and ignore the issue. Can you imagine how we--and not only California--could benefit from a steady, known supply of fresh water? I'm glad to report that San Francisco is making great strides in recycling water.

 

Posted by Lottie Kendall, Helping make your real estate dreams a reality (Compass) over 6 years ago

Jeff, our Hetch Hetchy water service has requested a voluntary 10% cutback in water useage; our representative, Jerry Hill, is strongly urging mandatory cutbacks, and now. I'm in his camp.

Emily, you've made great points. San Francisco is leading the state in using water wisely and creating incentives to help consumers do the same.

Posted by Lottie Kendall, Helping make your real estate dreams a reality (Compass) over 6 years ago

Any tips which help conserve water to get us more comfortably through this drought are appreciated!

Posted by Myrl Jeffcoat, Greater Sacramento Real Estate Agent (GreatWest Realty) over 6 years ago

Your area is hit pretty hard, Myrl. Let's hope today's rain in the Bay Area reaches you and means the barn door is open. However---it doesn't mean we don't need to conserve; we do!

Posted by Lottie Kendall, Helping make your real estate dreams a reality (Compass) over 6 years ago

We didn't notice this drought creeping up on us. These are some good water-saving tips, Lottie

Posted by Jane Peters, Los Angeles real estate concierge services (Home Jane Realty) over 6 years ago

Southeast Colorado has had dust storms due to drought.  That area was also part of the Dust Bowl region in the 1930s.  Here's a DenverTV news video http://www.9news.com/shows/4p/370556/164/Dust-storms-blow-over-the-Eastern-Plains

Posted by Jerry Lucas, Mobile Notary Colorado Springs, CO Notary Training (ABC Legal Docs LLC) over 6 years ago

Well, Jane, we're noticing it now. I don't ever remember having wildfires in January--everything is tinder dry.

Jerry, I learned about haboobs yesterday -- on Facebook, naturally! Wishing you rain--we finally have some today.

Posted by Lottie Kendall, Helping make your real estate dreams a reality (Compass) over 6 years ago

Move to Pennsylvania...We have plenty of moisture here. It is just frozen:)

Posted by Jeffrey Hogue, Berks County Real Estate Pro (Weichert Realtors Neighborhood One) over 6 years ago

You could move to California, PA, south of Pittsburgh.  Population 6,800.

Posted by Jerry Lucas, Mobile Notary Colorado Springs, CO Notary Training (ABC Legal Docs LLC) over 6 years ago

Ah, Jeffrey and Jerry - that could solve one person's water problem, but what will you eat if California farmers, ranchers and orchard growers can't supply your shelves? Lack of water isn't one person's problem; collectively we need to use water wisely.

Posted by Lottie Kendall, Helping make your real estate dreams a reality (Compass) over 6 years ago

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