California is in a drought – what can you do to conserve water in your apartment?

January 30th 2014

By Tara Davis, Sustainability Program Manager

A child walks in a dry river bed, a sign of the California drought. You can help by conserving water in your apartment home.
It’s no secret. Water is a precious resource. But due to California's severe drought, it's even more critical to conserve water in your apartment home.

As a result of three years of dry weather, low snow pack in the Sierras and significant wildfires, California's water resources are at severely low levels. California Governor Jerry Brown officially declared the state was in a drought on January 17, 2014.

Noting the unprecedented and serious nature of the situation, the governor urged all California residents to reduce their water usage by at least 20 percent.

Here are 5 easy ways to reduce water usage in your apartment home:

  1. Only run the dishwasher when it is full, which can reduce water usage by 10 to 20 gallons per load. Dishwashers are generally more water efficient than hand washing. But if you are washing dishes by hand, fill the sink or a dishpan with water rather than running the water continuously.
  2. Adjust the water levels in the washing machine to match the size of the load. If the washing machine does not have a variable load control, you can save water by running the machine only when it is full.
  3. Turn off the faucet while you brush your teeth or shave. This simple step can save 150 gallons a month.
  4. Take short showers instead of baths. Showers usually save 40 gallons of water over baths. Reducing your shower by just 1- or 2-minutes can save up to 700 gallons per month.
  5. As always, if you notice a leak in your apartment home or around your community, please immediately report it to the leasing office. For example, reporting a leaking sprinkler can save 500 gallons a month.

Water conservation practices don't just benefit our environment – they can save you money. You can find more water conservation tips on the EPA’s website or the Be Water Wise campaign.

BRE is making efforts to reduce water usage, too!

  • Nearly all of communities have smart irrigation systems. These devices use satellite and weather data to determine optimal timing and amounts for irrigation.
  • We’ve taken extra measures to install native, drought tolerant landscaping. 
  • Instead of using hoses to clean driveways and sidewalks, we use brooms and energy-efficient water sprayers.

It takes each of us working together to truly make an impact. Join us as we take on the governor’s challenge and work to reduce the water consumption at each of our communities. If you have any ideas or notice any areas we can improve, let us know.