Water Savings for Tenants

Water conservation is a concern to tenants who are both environmentally conscious and budget conscious.  Water and sewer costs are frequently included in typical residential lease agreements as a landlord obligation.  These hidden costs are added into the monthly rent payment calculation. Possible local ordinances may allow water and sewer costs to pass through to tenants as a supplement to base rent payment.  In addition, tenants often pay separately for their direct electricity and gas utility usage.  Monthly rent payments are high already. Where is the water expense savings?

Certain states are dealing with severe drought conditions and have implemented drastic measures.  In California, environmentally conscience tenants will heed Governor Brown’s water emergency declaration by reducing their water usage by 20%.  Small steps can be taken immediately adding up to big reductions in use.  Turn your faucet off between wetting and rinsing your toothbrush.  Contact lens wearers should remember to close the taps between lens rinsing. Hand wash dishes using a separate tub for washing and for rinsing.  Stopper the drain. Toilet flush for “two,” not for “one.” Turn off the shower during soaping and shampooing.  Resume the spray for the final rinse. Use the bathroom waste basket for facial tissue disposal, not the toilet. Boil an economical pint of water on the stove, men, for a better, closer razor shave.  Did we mention, shower with a friend? Better yet, how about a shallow bath?

Need a financial motivation?  Consider the unit hot water heater and evaporation.  Urge your landlord to wrap the tank with an insulating blanket.  Good news, a natural gas water heater is far more efficient than an electric water heater and is saving you money right now.  Reduce the thermostat temperature from 200º to 160º or lower. Do not run the taps waiting for the hot water to arrive.  Consider turning the hot water heater thermostat down to the minimum or off during protracted absences or vacations away from your rental home.  Both your monthly water usage and gas/electrical utility bills will drop immediately.

Landlords and managers are particularly attuned to saving water. County governments are responding to the State water shortage with regulations and mandates all designed to respond to the drought emergency.  Tenants should anticipate a  24-hour notice to enter the units from their landlord.  Installation of low flow toilets, faucet aeration devices, and shower head flow regulators will become standard, not optional, as Californians respond to the drought. Water efficient appliances and fixtures combined with conscientious water use will ensure water resources and savings for all tenants.

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