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Officials want you to use 10% less water

• SCV households average more than 600 gallons a day.

Posted: May 2, 2008 12:44 a.m.
Updated: July 3, 2008 5:02 a.m.
If you drink a liter of water on any hot day this summer, drink nine deciliters instead.

If you water your lawn for 10 minutes, turn the sprinkler off after nine minutes.

Ten baths over the next two weeks? Go dirty, for one of those days.

If you do any or all of these things, you'll be taking part in the valley's latest conservation promotion.

May is Water Conservation Month and this year, water officials have come together to convince Santa Clarita residents to reduce their water usage by 10 percent.

And while cutting back on bathing or drinking water are among the recommended solutions, water officials unveiled several proposed changes to lifestyle that promise to conserve water.

"Santa Clarita Valley households use on average more than 600 gallons of water each day," said William Pecsi, president of the Castaic Lake Water Agency. "There are many actions we can take to save water every day.

"Our goal is to achieve a 10 percent reduction and to save that 60 gallons a day."

On Thursday morning, Pecsi and agency General Manager Dan Masnada joined other water officials - including Mark W. Cowin, deputy director of Regional Water Planning and Management at the Department of Water Resources in Sacramento - inside the gardening section at the Home Depot on Newhall Ranch Road at Copper Hill Road at 10:30 a.m. to launch the Ten Percent conservation program.

Home Depot is the program's home now that managers have set up a section devoted to drought-tolerant plants inside the gardening part of the hardware store.

Surrounded by ferns and flowering plants, and with a flat-screen TV playing and re-playing a conservation commercial, water officials drove home the importance of conserving water.

"California is facing a water challenge greater than any in its history," said Cowin, who traveled from Sacramento to take part in Thursday's program kickoff. "The state hasn't fully recovered from the drought of 1987. Climate change is affecting our supply, so we have got to change the way we think. The (San Joaquin) delta eco-system is crashing. Court challenges have resulted in the State Water Project allocating only 35 percent of its water to contractors," he said.

"This is going to cause big problems.

"But, it's not all gloom and doom," he added. "One of the most important things is the efficient use of water. The state has set a target of 20 percent reduction in water usage by 2020. A trip to the Home Depot store is a good place to start."

Cowin suggested that conservation-minded people visit not only the drought-tolerant plant section but venture into the store's plumbing section to consider buying high efficiency toilets.

Julie Weith, chairman of the Valley Industrial Association, said: "I want to urge businesses in Santa Clarita Valley to do their part in water conservation as well and support the 10 percent reduction."

And, while not bathing or the popular T-shirt suggestion of "shower with a friend" are not on the list of recommended conservation options, water officials have come up with "Three Easy Ways" to conserve:

• Fix leaks indoors and out. • Adjust sprinkler heads so that they water lawns and not the sidewalk. • Use mulch which conserves moisture.


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