You Can Conserve Water
Water shortages are real, touching many U.S. communities each year. Because water conservation is a good defense against shortages, it should happen all the time, not just when shortages occur.
To begin conserving water, everyone needs to know some simple facts:
- Water is a limited resource.
- Water costs a great deal in energy and money to pump, move and purify.
- On average, water consumption can be reduced by 35 gallons per person per day.
- Conservation is everybody's responsibility. Most of us can significantly reduce our household water consumption if we change some of our habits.
- Plant drought-resistant plants in your yard.
- Clean the driveway, patio, sidewalks and garage floor with a blower or a broom rather than a hose and water.
- Take advantage of a soft summer rain to wash your car. Get out soap and a sponge and lend nature a helping hand.
- Check hoses, faucets and water devices periodically for leaks and malfunctions that can waste large amounts of water.
- Rinse water from bath or laundry can be used for watering outdoor plants.
- Plant shrubs that are drought resistant, and native to the area. (see Xeriscaping)
- Make lawns the lowest priority for outside watering when water use is restricted. Water young trees and shrubs that will die more quickly and are more expensive to replace.
- Use Rain Sensors.
- Turn off sprinklers!
- Use tight-fitting lids on pans to keep water from boiling away faster.
- Cook food in as little water as possible. Doing so also prevents loss of nutrient value.
- Select the proper size pans for cooking. Large pans require more cooking water.
- Keep a covered bottle of water for drinking in the refrigerator so you won't have to let the water run to get cold.
- Hand wash cooking utensils and serving dishes that take up a lot of dishwasher space. Wash them as soon as possible to prevent food particles from getting hard and becoming more difficult to remove.
- Wash only full loads in the dishwasher.
- Follow your dishwasher manufacturer's instructions on how best to save water and energy. When possible, select shorter cycles to use less water.
- Don't let the water run when you brush your teeth. Instead, half fill a glass and use that water to wet your brush and rinse your mouth.
- Don't let the water run when you shave or wash your hands. Fill the basin and dip your razor or hands as needed.
- Don't flush the toilet unnecessarily. Older toilets use 5 to 7 gallons of water per flush. Throw tissues, insects and other trash in the wastebasket, not the toilet. If possible, replace older toilets with new water-saving fixtures that use only 1 or 1.5 gallons per flush.
- Turn the shower off while you shampoo your hair.
- Install flow restrictors on individual water fixtures like showerheads and faucets. They automatically reduce flow and aerate the water.
- Reduce the amount of water the toilet uses by filling a one gallon plastic container with water and putting it in the tank to displace one gallon of water.
Basement / Laundry
- Wash clothes when they are dirty, not just to remove wrinkles.
- When doing laundry, fill the machine.
- Adjust the washing machine water-level control, if it has one, to the laundry load size. However, do not skimp on water amount as it makes washing less effective and increases wrinkles and friction (wear) on garment items. Corrective measures often require re-washing or re-rinsing.
- Vacuum rugs regularly so you will not have to shampoo them as often.