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Water Conservation Moves to the Triangle


June 3rd, 2015

Far from North Carolina, California is in dire straights due to a massive decrease in precipitation over the last four years. Governor Jerry Brown has ordered a 25% cut in water consumption.  Some cities are tearing out lush grassy landscapes and replacing them with drought tolerant xeriscapes. Santa Cruz has instituted conservation school for denizens who exceed allotted monthly usage. They can pay a fine or choose to go to school. Municipalities are getting quite creative and also perfecting some conservation methods instituted in previous droughts.  Before moving to North Carolina, one half of the MPT lived through a terrible California drought in 1976 and 1977 and learned valuable water conservation tricks that stuck with her through the move to North Carolina. 

It’s a good thing the lessons stuck because North Carolina has not been without water challenges. And we are sure to have droughts in the future so perhaps we had best learn how to conserve. The most recent severe drought in North Carolina was in 2007 and 2008. Agriculture racked up huge financial losses. The MPT does remember some threats of droughts and requests from municipalities to conserve since 2008. We remember having a watering schedule (every other day and not on Mondays (? Well, it was one day)) as well as only being able to wash our cars at car washes because they have a water recycling system in place.  We continuously try at home to conserve water whether drought year or not. 

There are many ways to save water at home. Check out the slit at this State website. Most household water is wasted by toilet use and leak issues. In California many houses in the drought years had a sign on the toilet “If it’s brown, flush it down. If it’s yellow, let it mellow”. Of course as kids we thought this both hilarious and disgusting but we got used to it. Thankfully now we have an alternative with dual flush toilets. Invest in one when you update your home! As more people move to the Triangle we are all going to have to get more serious and creative with the water that we currently have while preparing for the next drought.  Our area has some more Californians already heading our way ( actually the MPT has sold several houses to Californians recently!) since we have more water than they do (and theIr drought is getting seriously depressing) and maybe they can teach us some new household water-saving tricks as we teach them about Southern graciousness (sure we will flush it down only if it’s brown) and better yet, teach them about pig pickings.