Green And Save: Operating In Drought Conditions

“Whisky is for drinking; water is for fighting over” Mark Twain water_sense_promo_label

Industry and political Leaders rank the Water Crises as the third highest global concern. In fact, 28% of the EU said that poverty, hunger and lack of drinking water represented the biggest problem for the world. (Source)  We, in San Diego, along with many other cities in California and the Southwest are in or about to go into mandatory water rationing. While many of us use water wisely at home, all thoughts of saving water at the office, seep through the office door as soon as you come into work.

I bring this up because lack of water is a global problem. We can live without oil, we can live without cars, we can live without iPhones, but we cannot live without water and it’s not infinite. Over 345 Million people in the world today do not have access to water and over 750 Million do not have access to clean water.  More people have a mobile phone than a toilet. An American taking a five-minute shower uses more water than the average person in a developing country slum uses for an entire day. Very sad statistics and what is sadder, we spend more on war than we do on clean water. By 2030, 47% of the world’s population will be living in areas of high water stress. (Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development) All this means is more wars, more rationing and higher prices, which effect everyone.

That said, water conservation is everyone’s responsibility. Everything you can do at home and at the office to conserve water is important GLOBALLY. Today we are putting up our top tips for saving water in an office and hopefully you save water at home.

Drought monitor

On July 1, the highest level of drought—D4, or exceptional drought—was noted in portions of California (36%), Nevada (11%), Oklahoma (7%), Texas (5%), and Colorado (2%). California also led the nation with 79% coverage of extreme to exceptional drought (D3 to D4).

Eye Bogglers

  • Water heating in an office can account for 9% of the total energy load.
  • The average person uses 69.3 gallons a day, 30 of those gallons are hot water.
  • You can save over 3.5 gallons of water just by recycling a single newspaper
  • It takes 24 gallons of water to make 1 pound of plastic, meaning about 1.5 gallons of water are used to produce the average plastic soda bottle!
  • Americans consume over 3.5 billion gallons of water every day to run our household.
  • If you eat meat and dairy foods like an average American, you indirectly consume over 1,000 gallons of water each day. By eating meat and dairy less often, you can reduce your water use by hundreds of gallons a day.

Easy Ways To Save Water In an Office


  1. Installing aerators on faucets (about $10) can reduce the amount of water coming out while maintaining water pressure.
  2. Installing an instant hot water heater in faucets will reduce the necessity of wasting gallons of water.
  3. Old toilets- put in a water displacement device even rocks can help save the gallons of water used being flushed. An don’t throw tissues in the toilet and flush, use the trash. Savings about 2 gallons a flush.
  4. Install a Low Flush Toilet which can save up to 70% of water.
  5. Insulate your water heater- Energy saving and water savings.
  6. Make sure your water line pressure is not above 65 psi – Pressure above 65 psi in your water line may result in less efficient indoor plumbing fixtures or outdoor irrigation systems – and the waste of water.  Install a pressure reduction valve to lower water pressure and keep water efficiency high.
  7. Fix leaks- Saving 20 gallons a day. Leaky faucets that drip at the rate of 1 drop per second can waste up to 2,700 gallons of water each year.


  1. Landscaping: Use native plants and mulch.
  2. Water early evening or morning. Savings 150 Gallons/water.
  3. Use old coffee to water indoor plants.
  4. Put a canister under the faucet to catch water and reuse for plants.


  1. When washing hands don’t let the water run as you are soaping up. Turn off the water (savings about 3 gallons)
  2. Use Cold Water as much as possible.
  3. Install Water Sense Devices wherever possible
  4. Kitchen, don’t wash dishes one at a time, save until the end of the day and wash together. Savings 5-10 gallons of water.
  5. If you want that extra cup of coffee, don’t make a full pot.
  6. If you brush your teeth at work- turn off the water when brushing- saving 3 gallons.
  7. Wean yourself off the plastic bottle.
  8. Institute an employee water conservation awareness and education program – Increasing awareness among employees on how they can save water and avoid waste on an every-day basis will increase employee pride as well as pay dividends in reducing water costs and attracting customers who want to do business with a “green” company.

Team Work: 

  1. Provide incentives for staff to save water by linking water conservation to staff performance reviews.
  2. Mention water conservation plans and progress in staff meetings.
  3. Put up a suggestion box on ways to say water.
  4. Put up a sign in your office, bathroom and let your patients know you are in water conservation mode.  Many busis
  5. Include water conservation policies and procedures in staff training programs.

Labs and Lab Equipment

Having an in-house lab can be a dollar saver to an eyecare office. But, the amount of water used can be a water saver overall.

  1. Fast Grind International all in one surfacer /edger water can be reclaimed and reused and the blocking pads can be used up to 400x before replacement).
  2. Santinelli’s Edgers Lfu 220 tank and pump hybrid systems can reduce water consumption.
  3.  Vision Systems– has a selection of pre-owned equipment from the above and many have water saving devices.


  • Contact your local Municipal Water District to see if any rebates are available.

If you are in the same situation as we are in Southern California on the verge of water rationing, or already have water rationing- try checking out the Water Footprint Calculator from H20 Conserve. (It’s FREE) With the price of water going up, and fines going into place for overusing water, you might want to start now with a water conservation program.


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