Chris Craiker, Architex Angle: A focus on water conservation | Home and Garden

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Voluntary reductions from previous summer uses are suggested at 15% by reducing yard watering, avoiding over-spraying, and employing hand-watering and drip irrigation opposed to water-guzzling sprinklers. These are not mandatory….not yet. Clearly, we need to find simple ways of reducing our water usage as new and existing water resources are becoming increasingly scarce throughout the North Bay.

As a practicing architect in Marin in the ’70s, I experienced extreme droughts for years. The mandatory requirements were harsh but essential. Emergency pipelines across the San Rafael/Richmond Bridge help, and even Native/American rain dancers were employed. Nobody could water their lawns or gardens, showers were severely limited, heavy fines were levied if you exceeded your rationed amount, swimming pools went empty and dishes never looked clean. Neighbors sometimes hitched hoses to their next door neighbors sources, like stealing internet today.

Nowadays we are better prepared. Water-saving has become ubiquitous, but we need to do more. In addition, there is the increasing recognition of both water and energy savings by implementing water saving initiatives. Builders and professionals must do a better job at conserving water, especially during construction. We generally think of water efficiency as low flow fixtures and high efficacy appliances, but the initial construction of a house requires significant site cleaning, dust reduction and water for mortar and concrete. Efficiency should start with the first shovel in the ground.



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