RECORD DROUGHT CALLS FOR ACTION
The California Restaurant Association (CRA) strongly encourages restaurants to only serve water to customers by request, if they haven’t already implemented the practice. Talk to your staff about the importance of conserving water, and find creative ways of promoting changes to customers, via in-store signage or social media.
Below are many other easy-to-implement changes that can be implemented with minimal effort or investment:
- Train employees about water conservation efforts, and ask for their suggestions.
- Train servers and bussers to ask customers before serving or refilling water.
- Assign an employee to monitor water use and waste.
- Install signage encouraging water conservation in restrooms.
- Add tabletop signage urging water conservation.
- Monitor water meter weekly to assess efforts.
- Check for leaks in water supply system and turn off any unnecessary flows.
- Repair dripping faucets, showers heads and running or leaking toilets.
- Install flow reducers and faucet aerators in all plumbing fixtures whenever possible.
- Reduce water used in toilet flushing by either adjusting the vacuum flush mechanism, installing toilet tank displacement devices or low-flow toilets.
- Replace inefficient appliances and fixtures with high-efficiency models.
- Shut off water supply to equipment rooms not in use.
- Minimize water used in cooling equipment, such as air compressors, in accordance with the manufacturer recommendations.
- Keep hot water pipes insulated.
- Avoid excessive boiler and air conditioner blow down. Monitor total dissolved solids levels and blow down only when needed.
- Instruct clean-up crew to use less water for mopping.
- Change window cleaning schedule from periodic to an on-call/as required basis.
- Turn off continuous flow used to clean the drain trays of the coffee, milk or soda beverage islands. Clean trays only as needed.
- Turn off dishwasher when not in use. Wash full loads only.
- Replace dishwasher spray heads with high-efficiency models. Use water from steam tables to wash down cooking area.
- • Don’t use running water to melt ice or frozen foods.
- • Use water-conserving ice makers.
- Recycle graywater where feasible, consistent with local and state requirements.
- Rinse utensils and dishes in ponded water.
- Wash vegetables in ponded water. Don’t let water run in preparation sink.
- Avoid using running water to melt ice in the sink strainers.
- Water landscapes only as needed – two-to-three times a week is usually sufficient.
- Clean sidewalks, driveways and parking lots by sweeping instead of hosing down.
- Wash delivery vehicles less frequently.
- Avoid plant fertilizing and pruning that would stimulate excessive growth.
- Remove weeds and unhealthy plants so remaining plants can benefit from the water saved.
- Some older, native plants and trees require less water, and can suffer if watered as often as younger, non-native species.
- Install soil moisture overrides or timers on sprinkler systems. Time watering to occur in the early morning or evening to reduce evaporation.
- Check that irrigation equipment applies water uniformly.
- Consider installing a high-efficiency drip irrigation system.
- Mulch around plants to reduce evaporation and discourage weeds.
- Remove thatch and aerate turf to encourage the movement of water to the root zone.
- Contain all runoff within the property and ensure sprinklers cover just the lawn or garden, not sidewalks, driveways or gutters.
- Don’t water on windy days.