‘Extreme drought’: What it means for the Bay Area

Weather

SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. (KRON) – The National Weather Service Bay Area released a drought monitor update Thursday showing extreme drought expanding through more parts of the Bay Area.

The red ‘extreme drought’ color on the map has made its way to the Peninsula, coast, and parts of the South Bay now.

The latest U.S. Drought Monitor update released Thursday morning shows 97.6% of California is in some stage of drought.

On Tuesday, the East Bay Municipal Utility District officially declared a stage one drought and asked customers to cut water use by 10% after California experienced its driest winter since 1977.

Here is a tip guide with information collected from various Bay Area water districts that you can easily follow to do your part indoors and out:

  • Run only full loads of laundry and dishes
  • Use the dishwasher instead of hand washing, and don’t hit pre-rinse
  • Turn on the tap only to rinse – not when brushing, lathering, shaving or washing.
  • Fill the bathtub only halfway or less
  • Reduce showering time
  • Take your car to a carwash that recycles water instead of doing it at home
  • Water plants by hand, only when necessary
  • Water outdoors before 9 a.m. or after 7 p.m. so the sun doesn’t evaporate the water
  • Pause refilling of decorative fountains, hot tubs and swimming pools
  • Use a swimming pool cover
  • Fix leaks as soon as possible
  • Replace old washing machines with high-efficiency models (check with your local water district for rebates)
  • Collect rainwater for irrigation use (not for drinking or human consumption)
  • Cover outdoor soil with mulch, which reduces evaporation
  • Use a broom to clean driveways and sidewalks instead of a hose
  • Install aerators on kitchen and bathroom sinks
  • Let your grass grow longer – it makes it less prone to water loss from evaporation

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