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How to get water conservationists off your back

The ongoing drought in California and resulting usage restrictions are forcing operators to examine how much water is coming out of the faucet and to look for ways to slow the flow. While the “water up request only” mandate is one way they are cutting, many Californian restaurateurs have found several other methods of conservation that are having an impact. 

Plumbing

Restaurateur Hubert Keller of San Francisco’s Burger Bar brought in plumbers to re-evaluate all water usage. “We have done things like replace washers to make sure there is no excessive loss of water,” he says.

Wash reduction

At San Fran’s Bluestem Brasserie, co-owner Stacy Jed says she aimed to reduce dishwashing by 20 percent per day by reducing excess side plates, shared plates and glassware.

Plating

Bee reported that local spot Mulvaney’s B & L started using “fork savers,” small marble slabs for forks to rest on between courses, so diners will reuse them and help cut back on two to three washes a night.

Air clean

Restaurateur John Cox of Big Sur’s Sierra Mar at the Post Ranch Inn has turned to an air compressor before loading dirty plates, which he claims reduces sprayer use by 80 percent. 

Recycling

Garbage disposals at LYFE Kitchen, which operates six locations in California, use recycled water, accounting for 74 percent less water use. It also has ventless high-temp. dishwashers that use only .74 gallons of water per rack.

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