In the news today: our local utility district has asked East Bay residents to reduce water usage this summer. Residential customers are being asked to cut back usage by 19 percent.
Which means we set up the tank system just in time for it to pay us a bonus by reducing our use of municipal water for irrigation (at the moment it is completely replacing municipal water; I can see that later this summer the system may require supplementing, especially if this week's projected 100F temperatures are a harbinger of weather to come). By switching to the sump water, we've reduced our municipal usage by more than half -- because as a household we use very little water to begin with (we already installed a water-saving dishwasher and water-saving washer). So even without trying, we can cut down out household use by more than what the district is asking for.
And to be clear for those of you not living in a drought-stricken areas: they tried a voluntary program last year and it didn't work (that just so happens to have been when we started irrigating with municipal water, so clearly we were part of its failure -- all this gloating is also tinged with some guilt). This is a mandatory program, and if you fail to comply they will have ways to punish you. So the fact that we will be complying without even really trying (though of course we will also take steps to reduce our water usage anyway) is a good thing, indeed.
posted by ayse on 05/13/08