Mission Statement

The Soboba Tribal Environmental Department is committed to protecting, restoring, and enhancing natural resources on the Soboba Reservation for all tribal members past, present, and future.

 

What We Do

The Environmental Department works to raise awareness of all aspects of the environment. This includes solid waste issues, pollution prevention, water and air quality, conservation measures, household hazardous waste disposal, and many other areas. In addition to community outreach and education efforts such as participating in community events, the department also hosts an annual Tribal Earth Day event and community clean up days. We also conduct surface water quality testing on streams running through the reservation, collect and manage geographical data, and create programs to address environmental concerns.

An easy way to begin learning about the environment around you is to visit the United States Environmental Protection Agency website and use MyEnvironment

During the summer months, excessive heat and drought conditions can be seen all over the country. It is important to remember throughout the year and especially during the summer, that water conservation is very important for protecting our water resources and the environment. So what is water conservation? Water conservation is defined as activities that are meant to reduce the demand of water, improve the efficiency of its use, and reduce losses and waste. The purpose of water conservation is to protect our Earth’s water resources for the health of the environment and people. It is important to remember that water, specifically fresh water is a finite resource and there is only so much to go around. The demand for water has only gone up over time but the supply and replenishment of water has remained constant. The water cycle or the processes by which fresh water can be returned to Earth is not always in the same place, quantity, or quality. Much of our water comes from groundwater or underground storage basins called aquifers. When these sources of water are over used, their levels can get dangerously low and drop below the rate of replenishment. Low water levels contribute to higher concentrations of natural and human pollutants. The quality of our water can have significant effects on human and environmental health. Over usage also leads to water scarcity that mean less water in our lakes, streams, and creeks that we enjoy and wildlife depends on for survival. If water is so limited, then why is the planet 70% covered by it?

That’s a great question! Yes, Earth is 70% covered by water, but only 1% is available for human use. The other 69% is either salt water, frozen at the poles, or inaccessible to people for practical use. So, when we consider the 1% we have available to use, it’s easy to see how quickly water resources can be used up. According to the 2014 Government Accountability Report 40 out of 50 State Water Managers expect water shortages over the next 10 years. Water scarcity and predictions like this are due to many factors like increasing population, increasing demand for water, water waste, and climate change.

The EPA estimates that Americans use about 88 gallons of water a day and waste about 180 gallons a week or 9,400 gallons of water a year. Out of the 88 gallons of water we use a day, 30% of that is used on outdoor activities like watering lawns and other landscape irrigation. 50% of water used outdoors goes to waste from evaporation, wind, or runoff due to overwatering. Between inefficient toilets, long showers, and over watering your lawn many of the everyday things we use water for can be either more efficient or reduced. The EPA has sponsored a voluntary partnership program WaterSense, to identify and label water efficient products that help​ save water. The WaterSense label makes it simple for everyone to find products, new homes, and products that meet the EPA’s criteria for water efficiency and certified to use at least 20% less water. Here are some amazing facts about the benefits to water conservation and the WaterSense program.

Did you know?

  • Replacing showerheads with WaterSense- labeled models can save 4 gallons of water every time you take a shower?
  • Replacing old, inefficient faucets and aerators with WaterSense-labeled models can save 700 gallons of water per year?
  • Replacing a standard clock timer with a WaterSense-labeled irrigation controller can save your home nearly 8,800 gallons of water?
  • WaterSense-labeled faucets—or aerators that can be installed on existing bathroom faucets—are about 30 percent more efficient than standard faucets while still providing sufficient flow?
  • Homes that earn the WaterSense label feature WaterSense-labeled plumbing fixtures, efficient hot water delivery, smart landscape design, and many other features to ensure that the home will save water for years to come?

So while you’re enjoying the summer at the lake or the pool, remember just how important every drop of water is. You can visit the EPA’s WaterSense webpage https://www.epa.gov/watersense for additional facts, resources, and tips for water conservation. Here are some more helpful water conservation tips to make every drop count this year.

 

Simple Ways to Save Water

 

Turn off the Tap! 

Just by turning off the tap while you brush your teeth in the morning and before bedtime, you can save up to 8 gallons of water! That adds up to more than 200 gallons a month, enough to fill a huge fish tank that holds 6 small sharks! The same is true when you wash dishes. Turn off the tap! Scrape your dirty dishes into the trash—then put them in the dishwasher.

 

 

Shower Power!

Taking a shower uses much less water than filling up a bathtub. A shower only uses 10 to 25 gallons, while a bath takes up to 70 gallons! If you do take a bath, be sure to plug the drain right away and adjust the temperature as you fill the tub. To save even more water, keep your shower under five minutes long—try timing yourself with a clock next time you hop in!

 

 

 

Fix That Leak!

Fixing a toilet leak is a great way to reduce household water use and boost water conservation. If your toilet has a leak, you could be wasting about 200 gallons of water every day. That would be like flushing your toilet more than 50 times for no reason! Try this experiment: ask your parents to help you test for leaks by placing a drop of food coloring in the toilet tank. If the color shows up in the bowl without flushing, you have a leak!

 

 

Beat the Heat!

Watering your yard first thing in the morning is a great first step to water-efficient landscaping.  Avoid watering your yard in the middle of the day.  Watering when it's hot and sunny is wasteful because most of the water evaporates before the plants have time to drink it. Also, when you're helping your parents water the yard, make sure not to water the plants too much—remember that a little sprinkle goes a long way!

 

 

Who Needs a Hose?

An easy way to save water is to use a bucket and sponge when washing cars and bikes. Washing your bike or car with a bucket and sponge instead of a hose saves a lot of water. A hose can waste 6 gallons per minute if you leave it running, but using a bucket and sponge only uses a few gallons! Also, some car washes recycle water instead of letting it run down the sewer drains. Ask your parents to check if a car wash near you recycles water.

 

 

Don’t forget to check out the WaterSense Simple Steps to Save Water brochure at https://www.epa.gov/watersense