When I was a kid and the rain in Southern California would come down so strong, it flooded walkways. By the time I was a teenager, rain was rare. Southern California is a water-stressed region; every drop is important. That ended in 2019 when a drought that had put pressures on the economy in California and its people ended.

CSUSB has already taken resiliency measures to save water. Buildings make water use more efficient and increase the return of this natural resource through the use of filtration and underground storage. Low-flow toilets and plumbing fixtures that conserve water have been installed. The landscape around the new Center for Global Innovation building directs surface water to central grates leading to waterways. Grates and biorientation basins are found in other areas at both CSUSB and its Palm Desert Campus. Beautiful rock gardens and drought resistant landscaping featuring native plants also help to conserve water.

Although 2019 was a wet period for Southern California, it doesn’t mean we can be careless with water. The aftermath of the drought is still with us and we have additional things to consider. Overall the groundwater supply is still low, less water is diverted to our state from the Colorado River, and the population is still growing. Dry vegetation in many parts of the state still increase fire risks and can lead to power outages, which we experienced last fall.

We can be water conscious as individuals and as a community. It may be challenging, but small steps make a difference. You can join the pack in making this pledge during this week’s sustainability emphasis. Just as every drop counts in a bucket, so does every member in the pack. The rain may come back as strong as when I was a kid, but I will do my best to save water whenever I can. Hopefully, you will, too.

Drop in the Bucket Water Tips:

  • Wash full loads of laundry;
  • Turn off the faucet while brushing your teeth/lathering;
  • Use a bucket to wash the car;
  • Only flush the toilet for waste and not for trash; and
  • Reduce your shower by 5 minutes until you get to 5-10 minute showers.

Visit the Office of Sustainability’s website at csusb.edu/sustainability or email resilient@csusb.edu to learn more about CSUSB’s Virtual Sustainability Week, April 20-25, or for more information about water, building and land use.

See also the article “CSUSB Sustainability Week to help with environment, finances and social well-being.”

Stephany Muntean, who wrote this article, was a Q1 student intern in the Office of Sustainability.