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The West is currently experiencing the worst drought I have ever seen. There are wildfires burning from the south end of California through Washington State. The water is so low in the Truckee River the fish had to be transplanted into the nearby lakes and reservoirs to increase their chance of survival. It has been years since there was enough water to get on some of my favorite creeks in the Sierras. And, the Reno Whitewater Park is currently at 47 cfs vs it’s normal 250-300 cfs for this time of year. We have a problem.

As kayakers, we love the water and we love being outside. So in times of drought. . . we should be the first to start conserving that water we love so much. Not just for our current situation, but to help ensure we have water in the future, and have water to play on those rivers we love so much.

A very good friend of mine who is a manager at the Tahoe City Water District gave me some tips on how we can all start saving water.

Inside your home:
– check the toilet and pipes for leaks
– take shorter showers and install low flow shower heads
– don’t leave the water running when brushing your teeth or rinsing dishes
– use your dishwasher and washing machine only when loads are full

Outside the home:
– use a broom to clean the driveway/steps and never let water run down the sidewalk
– use a self closing nozzle on your hose
– it’s ok to have a yellow lawn. Decrease the time your sprinklers are on, never water between 11am-7pm, and don’t water on windy days.

This drought may not hit home to everyone. Especially those who live in areas that have had heavy winters and rain storms. However, we can raise awareness. If you live on the east coast, remind your friends and families on the west to start saving water. Every drop saved now is one less we need to refill the starving reservoirs that feed many of our creeks.

Trust me. . . we all dream of getting back on those classic California creeks with long wilderness stretches and smooth granite slides. So. . . save a little water now, and it will be a reality sooner.

Jessica Yurtinus
Reno, NV