Leonard Baron, a San Diego State finance professor, real estate consultant and Survival in San Diego guest blogger extraordinaire, e-mailed with a new tip on ways to save water indoors.

His suggestion: Slow the flow on your faucets at home.

It’s a suggestion that’s not commonly touted by local water agencies. Baron says:

When I turned on my bathroom faucet and held a 16-ounce cup underneath the faucet (just the hot or just the cold turned on) it took about five seconds to fill that cup. Now if I left the water on while brushing my teeth or shaving, all that water would have been wasted (I turn mine off just fyi). Underneath my sink there are two valves, one hot and one cold, that control the water flow through the feeder pipes that bring water to my faucet.

Testing one at a time, I cranked down the valve to slow the water flow to a point where it took seven seconds to fill that 16-ounce cup. Guess what, that was still a healthy water flow and plenty enough to shave or brush teeth. Therefore, filling the cup in five seconds flows 3.2 ounces per second while in seven seconds it flows 2.3 ounces per second. That is a savings of 28% under my calculations.

Not a lot overall for just my house, but at places where people leave the water on (because they are not paying the bills) like hotels, apartment buildings, etc., it could be substantial water savings.

Maybe run a test at a hotel with their maintenance guy? It would be hard to determine the exact savings, but I think there are over 120,000 hotel rooms in San Diego … and hundreds of thousands of apartment/condos.

John Liarakos, a spokesman for the San Diego County Water Authority, the region’s water wholesaler, said he hadn’t heard that idea before. “That’s the kind of innovation we’re looking for,” he said.

Anyone else have an innovative water-saving idea? Send me an e-mail at rob.davis@voiceofsandiego.org.

ROB DAVIS

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