Environmental update: Do your part to conserve water

By From page A14 | June 04, 2014

As the weather gets hotter, it seems like a good time to talk more about the drought. In April, Gov. Jerry Brown issued a second proclamation of continued state of emergency due to the drought, ordering that California residents and businesses implement increased conservation measures. The governor ordered all Californians to take specific actions to avoid wasting water, including the following:
* Avoid using water to clean sidewalks, driveways, parking lots and other hardscapes;
* Turn off fountains and other decorative water features unless recycled or gray water is available;
* Limit vehicle washing at home by patronizing local carwashes that use recycled water; and
* Limit outdoor watering of lawns and landscaping to no more than two times a week.

The governor also recommended that schools, parks and golf courses limit the use of potable water for irrigation. In compliance with this order, the city of Davis is working toward reducing water consumption at parks and public facilities by 40 percent and is implementing short-term and long-term solutions to upgrade parks and public facility landscapes with water-efficient irrigation systems, plants and grasses.

Washing dishes and linens uses large quantities of water, so the governor also called on hotels and restaurants to give customers options to conserve water by serving water only upon request and providing customers with options to avoid daily washing of towels or sheets.

To save water outdoors, alter your lawn mowing methods. “Grasscycling” is the process of leaving grass clippings on the lawn after mowing, returning nutrients stored in the grass blades back to the soil and eliminating the need for fertilizer.
Fertilized lawns require more water, and chemical runoff can pollute creeks and rivers. Grasscycling helps keep the soil cool and increases the soil’s ability to absorb and retain moisture.
We are nearing the end of the school year, which means many UCD students will be moving out of their current living spaces. If you have items that you no longer need, please consider donating these items instead of throwing them away.
You can bring items to thrift stores, post items in The Davis Enterprise, on Freecycle or on Craigslist, or check out the city of Davis Recyclopedia online at DavisRecycling.org to find local places to reuse and recycle your stuff.

Please be respectful and do not unload your unwanted items in someone else’s trash can or Dumpster. Every June and August, businesses in Davis have people from all over town illegally dumping their mattresses and furniture in their Dumpsters, costing them extra time and money to clean up and haul away.

Leaving furniture, mattresses and other household items in front of your property or on the street and sidewalk is a violation of city code and may be a safety hazard for bicycles and pedestrians. If you have too much trash and it won’t fit in your garbage cart, please bring it to the landfill, instead of leaving it out in bags.
Better yet, take a closer look at what you’re throwing away. I’d be willing to bet that at least half of what you’re tossing out is recyclable. If your recycling cart is full, you can drop off recyclables for free 24/7 at the DWR recycling center, 2727 Second St.

Just a reminder: Starting July 1, all retail stores and restaurants in Davis will no longer distribute single-use plastic carryout bags. Customers can carry their purchases without a bag, bring their own bag or choose to purchase a paper or reusable bag for a minimum of 10 cents.

For more information, visit DavisRecycling.org or email me at [email protected] .
— Jennifer Gilbert is the city of Davis’ conservation coordinator. Her column is published monthly.

Jennifer Gilbert

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