How to help save water in California from the East Coast

The water in the southern 1/2 of California (not just Southern California, but Monterey, Oxnard, etc) comes hundreds of miles in amazing water projects that take water from the Sacramento River, Owens River, Mono Lake, and the Colorado River. Yet, there is a huge water plant in Ontario that bottles this water using Reverse Osmosis. It’s sold as Niagra Water and Costco Drinking Water. That’s right folks, that bottle of water has traveled 600 miles in the California Aqueduct, pumped 3,000 feet over a mountain near Bakersfield (13,000 cu/ft a second – takes two power plants to power the pumps), through 7 miles of tunnel, to Riverside and the public water systems. Niagra Water has a plant there, and bottles it using Reverse Osmosis to purify, in which about 1/2 goes to the sewer as waste, then it’s shipped 3,000 miles to us here on the east coast. Niagra says the industry uses about 1 percent of the water. If using the flow from the Los Angeles Aqueduct only (from the Owens River), that’s about 420,000 acre feet of water. An acre foot is 325,851 gallons so that’s about 136,920,000,000 gallons of water. so 1% of the LA Aqueduct alone is 1,369,200,000 gallons. Yet the LA Aqueduct supplies on 1/3 of LA’s water so triple that to 4 trillion gallons, 1/2 of which are dumped into the drain.

You can save that water the trouble of being shipped across the US and the related fuel, and California some water by doing was Niagra Water does. Put a Reverse Osmosis system in you own home.

Get one of these Reverse Osmosis water filters and stop buying water [look at the bottle, this is what they do]: http://www.costco.com/Premier-WP4-V-Reverse-Osmosis-System-with-Monitoring-Faucet.product.11257320.html. Add this on for efficiency: http://www.premierh2o.com/collections/pumps/products/aquatec-_erp-1000_560041_permeate_pump_kit

Mine came with a cheesy faucet. I ordered it two weeks ago. Costco changed it already and offers a kit with better faucet now that has a LED light to tell you it’s time to change the filters (‘monitored faucet’). But its chrome, and there are other faucets on the Premier website. I ordered a brushed nickle one last night. Premier is a subsidiary of Watts. They also offer a zero waste R.O. system that has a pump and pumps the waste water into your water heater. Adds complexity to the system and minerals to water heater. I choose this one and ordered the permeate pump to double efficiency. Oh, you need a spare hole in the sink for the faucet. I drilled one in my porcelain on iron sink. Not for the meek, took an hour, mostly because it was hard to drill the 1/8″ starter hole in the 1/8″ thick porcelain. An 1/8″ diamond bit would have helped. Then I made the hole larger and larger 1/32″ at a time marching up my drill set to get to the 1/4″ size of the pilot bit in the 1 1/4″ hole saw. Wouldn’t be any trouble on a stainless steel sink. But don’t do that yourself if not comfortable with destroying your sink. I watched a couple youtube videos on it.

If you can, install the Reverse Osmosis System itself in the laundry so you can easily change the filters (not under the sink, unless you like working in dark, tight places) and use longer length 1/4″ and 3/8″ poly pipe from Home Depot or Lowes to install it. Don’t use the saddle valve unless you want a leak in a couple years, add a tee to your water line and a tubing connector, drain to your laundry stand pipe. Tee the freshwater line to the icemaker and sink. No more chlorine or other foul stuff. Does waste about 1/2 the water, but it’s only drinking water. Gallon a day maybe. ANd if you are buying bottled water, that water is being wasted already. If you have a septic system, you are not wasting the water as it’s goes back into the ground water.

So Save California some water as the Niagra water (and Costco Drinking water is also Niagra) is bottled in Ontario California (in the desert East of L/A) using water from the Sacramento River.

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