October 13th, 2018

filthy California

Starting in 2020, the California state government is imposing a limit of 55 gallons per person per day of water use on households. I've been looking for exact dates and for details on which areas it applies to; but for now, I'm assuming that it will apply here in Riverside on January 1, 2020.

How much of a restriction is that?

I measured our bathtub. If I fill it, it holds 50 gallons.

We have a low-flow shower; I found an estimate of 4 gallons/minute for such showers. So that's about a 14-minute shower.

If we both bathe/shower, we have no water left for washing dishes, or cooking, or even flushing the toilet. We have a low-flow toilet, which uses an estimated 1.6 gallons per flush, but of course low-flow toilets are susceptible to clogging, and it can take up to five flushes to clear ours out when it does.

I'm not sure if the state will be able to track our laundry use; we use a laundry room in our complex, rather than having out own machines. But apparently one load of laundry uses about 40 gallons. So on any day when we do laundry (apparently it's supposed to be one load at a time, which is really wasteful of time), if the limits are applied, one of us will have to go unbathed.

We drink bottled water, but there's shaving, brushing teeth, and so on. . . .

I have to say, California is going to be a really unpleasant place to live if these restrictions are applied. Not as bad, perhaps, as having homeless people shit in the streets of San Francisco, or outbreaks of hepatitis in San Diego and Los Angeles, but I think we're going to have Third World standards of cleanliness before too long.