Friday, May 29, 2009

Get Your Free Shower Timers

Get Your Free Shower Timer
We now have free and nifty four-minute shower timers. They’re small, colorful and stick to your shower door. You have no excuse for taking a long water-wasting shower now.

You can pick them up at our offices at 1331 Concord Ave. in Concord on weekdays between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. on weekdays.

We’ll also have them at the CCWD booth at the "Emergency Preparedness Fair at the LDS Church in Pleasant Hill (555 Boyd Road) Saturday, May 30 between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. and the “Fit Fest Health Fair” Saturday, June 6th at Los Medanos College in Pittsburg.

Sunset Magazine Cites CCWD Website

Sunset Magazine's online "Kick the Water Habit" cites CCWD's Conservation website as one of nine sites for reliable information on water conservation. "This site, based in Northern California, is packed with stealable ideas on conservation, landscape design, and maintenance,” stated Sunset.

We loved the pat on the back and the Sunset article has all kinds of useful information on ways to save water.

Many, Many More High Efficiency Toilets

Participation in the District’s High Efficiency Toilet Rebate Program has nearly tripled this year. In fiscal year 2008, the District provided 683 toilet rebates to single family customers. Thus far in fiscal year 2009, the District has processed nearly 1,900 rebates. The program is helping customers meet their drought reduction goals – toilets are the single largest user of water inside most homes – and the new high-efficiency toilets will save water for decades to come.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Mulch Coupons Will Help You Save Water & Money: Watch For Misting Sprinklers

We have another water-saving coupon offer available, this one called "Mulch, Mulch, Mulch"

This gives discounts of between 5 and 10 percent on purchases of mulch from seven local landscape companies.

Mulch is one of the easiest and most-effective ways to save water in your landscaping, it will also reduce weed growth. Read more about mulch in our Mulch 101 brochure.


Our "Smart Wash Car Wash" program has three more local car washes signed up.

That brings the total to 11 local car washes that recycle water, and give you a discount ranging from $1 to more than $7.


If your sprinklers cause excessive misting, there is a good chance your water pressure is too high. This wastes water, and plants don't get the water they need. There are several ways to correct the problem.

If the entire sprinkler system has high pressure, a single pressure regulator can fix the problem.

Alternatively, pressure-regulating sprinkler heads or pressure-compensating nozzles will remedy the problem for each individual sprinkler.

Talk to the folks at your local hardware store about pressure regulators, pressure-regulating sprinkler heads or pressure-compensating nozzles. In many cases, you can add pressure control discs to your existing nozzles.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Water Conservation -- & Free Shower Timers -- At CCWD Booth At Kidfest

If you're staying in town this weekend, one "staycation" place to visit is KidFest in Concord's Todos Santos Plaza in downtown.

There are lots of booths, lots of music, food and the whole thing is geared for kids.

CCWD is a co-sponsor of this event, and we're using the opportunity to talk about water conservation. We'll have our water publications and experts on hand who can answer your questions about saving water.

You can also pick up one of our new free shower timers that will help you limit the amount of time you spend in the shower. These rugged timers are set for four minutes and stick onto the shower door or tile.

We'll see you there.

Monday, May 18, 2009

CCTimes Produces Impressive "Managing Our Water" Special Section

The Contra Costa Times and the San Jose Mercury produced an impressive special section all about regional water issues titled "Managing Our Water" on Sunday.

The section tells the story of water in California, including lots of resources for saving water and beating the drought.

You can read nearly all the stories in the special sections below:

California's Broken System For Water Delivery

San Francisco, Other Cities That Draw Water From Hetch Hetchy in Better Shape

Water Shortage: Bay Area Faces First Drought in Nearly 20 Years

Getting Your Water Use Under Control

How to Find Enthusiasm In Drought Time Gardening

With Little Water Coming in, Small Towns Face Extinction

Silicon Valley Stores Water in Vast Bank

Friday, May 15, 2009

Eliminate Overspray From Lawn Sprinklers

This week's Water Wise Tip looks at eliminating overspray from your lawn sprinklers at home.

# Check sprinklers for overspray onto adjacent pavement, walls, fences, decks and homes.

# Overspray will waste a lot of water and can cause severe property damage.

# One of the primary reasons homeowners replace fences is because of rotting fence posts. This rotting is primarily a result of the post's repeatedly getting wet and dry from sprinklers.

# You can save water and increase the life of your fence and other structures by eliminating overspray.

For more drought survival tips, go to or to schedule a free home water use efficiency evaluation, call 925-688-8320. For questions on the drought management program or your water allocation, call the drought help line at 925-688-8009 or contact your water provider.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Nice Story on Drought-Tolerant Gardening

There's a nice story in the San Francisco Chronicle today on drought-tolerant gardening.

The surprise is there are some cantaloupe varieties (the Bush Star, an F-1 hybrid) that don't need a lot of water, are good to eat and grow quickly.

Here are some tips from the story:

-- Space your plants farther apart than suggested to give the roots more space to search for water.

-- Plant cool-season crops or crops that prefer a good watering in sunken beds that gather water. This will also create a cooler microclimate.

-- Mulching with flat stones will also help keep the ground cooler and wetter while absorbing heat to be released at night thereby moderating the microclimate.

-- Plant your veggie patch in a place sheltered from prevailing winds. You can also contour your beds to direct water flow and to prevent it from escaping.

-- Deeper, infrequent watering will help edibles to develop deeper root systems that will further help them tolerate drought. Consider a rain barrel to collect extra water for irrigation in dry times. You can also recycle your gray water.

-- Allow plants that root on the stems like squash and tomatoes to sprawl on the ground, further increasing their ability to mine water.

-- Gardening in the shade of trees or large shrubs is an excellent way to save water.

CCWD has put together a nice guide that will help you

Thursday, May 7, 2009

New Car Wash Coupons Save Water & Money

We've started a neat new program that will help you save water and money when you wash your car.

We have a list of eight local car washes that recycle the water they use.

Print out a coupon, take it with you to the car wash and present it when you pay. You can save a little bit of money (ranging from $1 to more than $5) while saving water and keeping your car clean.

Most people who wash their cars at home use about 100 gallons of water, these car washes will use less than 30.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Keep Those Sprinklers Turned Off For At Least A Week

With this weekend's rain, and a little more forecast for tonight and tomorrow, remember to turn off your irrigation sprinkler system.

Between 1/3-inch and up to one inch of spring rain has been recorded so far within CCWD boundaries during the past three days, and that's more than enough precipitation to help you save water by turning off your automatic sprinklers.

Water Conservation Supervisor Chris Dundon said the unseasonable moisture was enough to keep sprinklers off for at least a week, depending on how much of the expected sunshine follows this storm. "This rainstorm will help you start saving water for the Drought Management Program if you just turn off the sprinklers for awhile."