With the state of California under mandatory water-use restrictions, state residents are turning to creative ways to conserve water. Water conservation officials say the following are some options people can turn to, or are already turning to, in order to save water in a state that needs every last drop.
1. Spray painting lawns
Spray painting dry, brown lawns green is an efficient way to conserve water, according to California state officials. The State Water Resources Control Board says 50 percent of the state's water is used outside. "Ways families can drastically cut water use is by limiting how much they water their lawn," said Miryam Barajas, the control board's public information officer.
2. Drought-tolerant landscaping
Many residents across the state are starting to convert their lawns and gardens into new landscapes, according to water conservation officials. That includes trading in grass for rocks, turf or even cactus. Certain agencies are even offering incentives for folks to replace thirsty lawns with drought tolerant plants.
3. Replacing pools
Some homeowners are caving in and getting rid of their pools. Christopher Burd is the owner of Dig and Demo, a construction company that helps people turn their pools into something new. "I've definitely seen an uprising this season," Burd said. "The drought is pushing people to do the job." One way Burd does this is by emptying the water out of the pool and filling it in with dirt.
4. Hybrid sink-toilets
Some companies, like Caroma, an Australian manufacturer, are marketing innovative products like hybrid toilet-sinks. State official say the idea of being able to wash your hands and have it also refill the toilet tank is a smart way to conserve.
5. Reusing water
The easiest thing to do is simply recycle your water, according to water conservation experts. They recommend keeping a pitcher, bucket or cup by your sink or shower when you're waiting for the water to heat up, and use that cold water on your plants or garden outside. Another recommendation is taking care to only turn on the faucet in soft turns, slowly. This reduces how much water comes out of the faucet and can cut down in a small, but important way.