Water & Drought

Water watch: Expert answers to readers’ drought, conservation questions

Folsom water conservation specialist Jan Famestad, left, evaluates water usage by homeowner Ina Tompkins at her home in Folsom on March 7, 2014. Drought-caused regulations have put many restrictions on how and when residents can use water.
Folsom water conservation specialist Jan Famestad, left, evaluates water usage by homeowner Ina Tompkins at her home in Folsom on March 7, 2014. Drought-caused regulations have put many restrictions on how and when residents can use water. rbenton@sacbee.com

When the drought shifted into high gear in the summer of 2014, The Sacramento Bee solicited reader questions about how to manage water issues. Following are answers to some of the questions submitted to Bee reporters.

INDOOR

▪ Do automatic-flush toilets waste or save water?

▪ Which uses less water: washing dishes by hand or running them in a full dishwasher?

▪ How can I save the water that runs while I’m waiting for hot water?

▪ Should recyclables be washed first?

▪ Showers vs. baths: Which use less water?

▪ Why is running water down the sink, shower, toilet or gutter considered wasteful?

OUTDOOR

▪ What about pools?

▪  What vegetables can you grow during a summer of drought?

▪  Can young trees survive on weekly irrigation?

▪  How much can we safely reduce watering in yards where large trees grow?

▪  Is there a problem with saving water in the green-waste container?

▪  Are rain barrels illegal in Sacramento?

▪  What are the pros and cons of replacing a yard with Astroturf or a similar artificial grass?

▪  Can these camellias be saved?

▪ How do I dechlorinate pool water to irrigate trees?

OTHER

▪ How can you report water waste in unincorporated areas of the county?

▪  Why not tap Lake Tahoe?

▪ Is desalinization the answer to future droughts?

Related content

▪ Water watch: As California drought persists, these stories and links will help

▪ Water watch: Turning points, policy decisions for California drought

▪ How to save water indoors and outdoors

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