Last month, California Governor Jerry Brown declared a statewide drought. It might be difficult to remember that right now here in the San Francisco area where today is the fourth straight day of rain, but we really have had a long dry spell. Yes, Marin County just got twelve inches, but that isn't gong to erase the drought conditions by itself.
In times of shortage - any kind of shortage, it is good to think about conservation. We can always treat our resources with more respect. In the case of water, we all need to do our part. One very obvious thing we can do is take shorter showers, not request water in restaurants unless we are actually going to drink it, and don't hose down the sidewalk every single day (and certainly not on a rainy day).
If you have a large lawn or a garden, try placing water collection barrels or large buckets to collect rain water and use that water to water your plants. A bucket in the shower to catch the excess water also helps. Consider landscaping with native plants adaptable to your climate's conditions, and water the lawn only when necessary.
We all need to think ahead and not wait for drought declarations. Being water smart really can make a difference.