The seriousness of California’s drought is ringing loud and clear throughout San Mateo. Residents and businesses are making great strides to reduce water usage. San Mateo achieved a 29.1% reduction in water use from August 2013 to August 2015 – well exceeding the State mandate of 16%.
Conserving water does take a little getting used to. While many residents adapted early to the drought by taking shorter showers, flushing toilets less, installing water efficient appliances and converting lawns to drought tolerant landscaping, it didn’t really resonate until Cal Water enacted a water allotment for residential and business customers. The monetary incentive it provides to stay within the allocation speaks to many residents and forces them to think about their overall usage.
Local businesses are stepping up too. For instance, the San Mateo Marriott is listed as a certified 2015 Green Leaders Partner through Trip Advisor, and Ducky’s Car Wash has implemented several innovative water conservation practices, reclaiming and reusing 80% of the water needed for washing cars, using a computerized system that uses 50% less water than hand washing cars at home, and capturing run-off and disposing of it in an environmentally friendly manner.
The City has taken significant strides to reduce water usage and meet the State mandate. To date the City Parks Division has reduced irrigation over 20% by yellowing or browning out passive turf areas, limiting watering of shrubs, and using only overhead spray irrigation from 6 pm to 8 am. Parks and Recreation has shut off water features, allocated water to areas of higher priority such as sports fields that must be maintained for health and safety reasons, and requested that pool patrons take shorter showers. Please visit www.cityofsanmateo.org for more information.