Cloverdale drought sign

A 'save water' sign is pictured in Cloverdale on Aug. 19, 2021.

As water use restrictions in Cloverdale tighten, people are adopting new behaviors and continuing old ones to help cut down on their residential water use.

On Aug. 11, the Cloverdale City Council unanimously voted to adopt a 35% reduction in citywide water use. The council also declared a Stage 4 water shortage emergency, which limits irrigation to one day a week, establishes rations for all water use categories and increases the city’s water shortage surcharge.

The council said, however, that stricter regulations might be coming back at some point in the future since the restrictions stem from curtailment orders issued by the State Water Resources Control Board.

To help get a look at what locals are doing to save water, SoCoNews posted on social media asking what people have been doing to conserve. The biggest actions? Using buckets to collect water, cutting back on yard watering and more.

Multiple people said they have “buckets everywhere,” namely to collect water from sinks and showers and to use it for things like watering plants and, in some instances, for water to do the dishes.

“We let our lawn die. It took us years to prep that yard, put in the irrigation ourselves and save for that sod. Now it is back to dirt,” said Janel Morris.

Morris said that eight years of trying to get the lawn in has been for naught, as it’s now returned to the way it was when she moved into her house.

For Shireen Arata, water conservation efforts were made into a game to see who in her house can conserve more. Listing what she’s done in her house, Arata said that they’ve done the following things, resulting in a 50% overall reduction in water use: “Low flow shower heads. Shave legs in a little tub or use electric shaver. Wash hair in sink basin with a cup and use that water for a soap and water washcloth bath. Catch the warming up water from kitchen sink and shower to water outside. Keep soapy water in kitchen sink and use it all day to wash dishes. Turn down the drip system. Turn off water when brushing teeth.”

Anne Harris-Gebb said that she’s saving water by not using her garbage disposal and instead focusing more on how she can compost her food scraps.

In addition to doing actively productive things like creating in-home water catchment systems, people have also installed more passive measures of conserving water, like putting in low-flow toilets, water aerators and more.

For a list of residential conservation tips, visit Sonoma Water.

For more information about Cloverdale’s water conservation measures, visit the drought page of its website.

More resources can also be found at the Sonoma-Marin Water Savings Partnership, which the city is part of.

Managing Editor

Zoë Strickland is the managing editor of SoCoNews. Zoë has a passion for small towns and writing articles about the people who live in them. When she’s not reporting, Zoë is passionate about baking, coffee and tending to plants.

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