Water Conservation: A Hot Topic

This summer, some will like it hot. With weekly temperatures averaging in the high 80s, summer is definitely in full swing, and that means we’re finding ourselves searching for full swigs of water. Here in Sonoma County, we are entering a hot summer following a relatively dry winter, so water conservation is no doubt a hot topic.

As an industry, wine production uses A LOT of water; thus, we are always mindful of how much water we need and how much we are using.  Here at K-J, we are taking steps to become more efficient and reductive of our own water consumption. We have been making it one of our sustainability goals for how we can start water conservation from within our wineries outward.

As a step, we are installing water meters in different locations within our wineries in order to track how much water is coming in, and what this water is being used for (i.e. cleaning tanks, washing barrels, etc). From there, we can establish a baseline for where we can start improving our water efficiency programs to cut down water consumption. As we move forward, we will continue to build our water programs to become more sustainable for the future.

Conservation is not easy, but voluntary water conservation can easily be achieved with a little determination and mindfulness. We believe in sustainable winemaking as part of sustainability as a whole, and we take those philosophies home as well. Here are a few simple tips that anyone can do to conserve water at home during this summer’s hot season.

  1. Read and understand your water bill! You will find that you are more apt to conserve water once you know how much you’re using, and what it costs you.
  2. Wash laundry only when you have a full load. Maximize to minimize.
  3. Don’t let the faucet run while brushing your teeth or washing dishes. Turning off the tap can save up to 20 to 30 gallons of water per week!
  4. Invest in drought tolerant landscaping instead of having to constantly water and monitor high maintenance grass lawns.
  5. Switch over to low flow everything! Your toilets and showerheads can be replaced at low costs to conserve water. Low flow showerheads can use less than 2 gallons per minute, saving up to 16 to 20 gallons during 8 minute showers*.
  6. Water plants at night! Plants can absorb nutrients and retain water better at the cooler temperatures past sundown.
  7. Fix your leaky faucets. If you can’t fix them right away, put buckets under them to collect the water for use elsewhere.

-Sabrina, Sustainability Intern

* Provided by Practically Green, an online sustainability metrics tracking portal. For more info, please visit: http://www.practicallygreen.com/