California Water Laws in 2020 Severely Restrict Water Usage
The new water usage restrictions in California are tough. A daily limit of 55 gallons per day per person is only half of what was the actual daily usage in 2013. As if that were not a challenge itself, the limit will drop to 52.5 in 2025 and reduce to only 50 by 2030. This means that citizens will need to be extremely diligent about monitoring their water usage to avoid the large fines and penalties for over usage.
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Monitoring your water usage closely can be extremely challenging. Thankfully there are ways to make this difficult task rather simple.
With a few simple devices and/or systems you can easily keep track of exactly how much water you have used. These include water meters for use indoors and outside, resettable remote digital displays, and even wireless cloud based monitoring systems. Read on to see what water usage monitoring products are right for you.
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Water Meters (see our residential water meters)
Installing a water meter in a place that it is easy to read is a simple and effective way to ease the pain of having to go to a hard to access location or difficult to read meter. This meter must be on the main water line somewhere AFTER the city meter and BEFORE any lines branch off (except for any “outdoor” lines if you only want to measure indoor use.)
Another effective use of a water meter is to install it on any line leading to an outdoor hose bib. In fact, you could even attach it to the hose bib itself using garden hose adapters. This is know as a “deduct meter” and is useful for monitoring water usage outside of the house that does not go into the sewer system. Many municipalities allow for the outdoor water use to be deducted from the total that is billed for sewage fees. In California, once the outdoor limits are established, this meter will also serve to measure that.
Lightweight digital garden hose water meters are another metering solution that can assist in tracking your water usage. They can be easily attached to any standard garden hose at the nozzle or spigot end (see our DM-P digital flow meter)
Pulse Output and Remote Digital Display
The next step, which makes the task extremely easy, is to add a remote digital display (see our residential water usage systems). In order to use such a display, you need to attach a pulse output switch to the face of the meter. This switch closes and opens once per gallon (or cubic foot).
The digital display acts as a pulse counter and simply displays the number of pulses, which is the number of gallons (or cubic feet). Some pulse counters can be reset with a simple push of a button (see the KAL-D06 pulse counter with digital display).
Using a resettable display offers these advantages:
- you can install the display in a convenient location for frequent reading
- the display is easy to read. No dials, just a simple number
- you can reset it daily or monthly (or whenever you want for that matter)
Remote Reading Systems
If you want to take it one step further, there are wireless reading systems that count pulses from water meters with pulse output. This requires that each meter you want to read has a tiny transmitter connected to the pulse output switch. There are cloud based systems where the transmitters all communicate with a hub which then communicates with the cloud via a wi-fi, ethernet, or cellular connection. Transmitters are also available that communicate with a smart home hub such as Z-wave (see our FortrezZ Z-wave water meter transmitter). These systems allow your data to be viewed from anywhere in the world on a PC, tablet, or mobile phone.
Water Usage Daily Limits Chart
It lists the daily totals for an entire month for 1 to 6 people.