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City Council President Scott Peters and his family use a massive amount of water at their La Jolla home — averaging 923,000 gallons a year.

Peters’ annual water use, as we reported recently, is equal to the use of City Councilmen Ben Hueso, Jim Madaffer, Kevin Faulconer, Tony Young and Brian Maienschein — combined.

Peters didn’t comment when we called to inquire about his heavy use. (His spokeswoman said he was out of the country.)

But in a recent media report, Peters said he’d requested a water audit of his family’s use. In the interview, Peters said:

I know intellectually that there’s a need to conserve, but I can’t tell you unfortunately exactly what I need to do at my house to do that.

Here are some suggestions for Peters. The source of that advice? Peters himself.

He wrote them in an August 14 column printed in the La Jolla Light.

Peters wrote:

We’ve learned to adjust our landscaping and outdoor water use, take shorter showers and let our cars get a little dusty.

Twenty gallons may sound like a lot, but saving that amount of water is relatively easy. Since 60% of urban water use in San Diego comes from landscaping and other outdoor uses, there are a number of ways to reduce wasted water in the yard. Running the sprinklers before 6:00 a.m. and after 8:00 p.m. reduces water evaporation and interference from wind, and can save 20-25 gallons per day. Eliminating one irrigation cycle per week can save up to 250 gallons. Fixing sprinkler heads, sweeping away debris on driveways and walkways, rather than using a hose, can save as much as 20 gallons per minute and reduce the pollution entering our storm drains.

There are numerous simple ways to reduce your indoor water use as well. Fixing leaky toilets and faucets can save between 15 and 50 gallons per day, as can washing only full loads of laundry. Even something as simple as turning off the water when rinsing dishes and brushing your teeth can save two gallons per minute.


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