Why should we conserve water? Like many things around us, we seldom appreciate what is so readily available to us. All we have to do is turn on the faucet any time 24 hours a day and there is plenty of water for our use, but water doesn’t just magically appear.
It costs money to draw water from its source. It appears in our homes only after it has traveled through miles of pipes and treatment process centers. Communities draw water from lakes, rivers, and from wells drilled deep down in the earth from a source that is now dwindling – the aquifer. Due to decreasing amounts in our aquifers, water systems may be required to reduce dependence on our source of water – another demonstration of the need to conserve.
Water is a valuable resource that we can’t afford to waste. We actually drink very little of our processed and treated “drinking water” – only about 1% of all treated water. The remainder goes in our washing machines, on our lawns, and down the toilets and drains.
Indoor Conservation Tips
- Fix leaks, including leaky toilets
- Install high-efficiency toilets, aerators on bathroom faucets, and water-efficient shower heads
- Take shorter (5 – 10 minute) showers
- Track your water bill and meter to curtail water use
- Turn off water when brushing teeth or shaving – every little bit helps.
- Use dishwashers and washing machines with full loads only – some machines allow for smaller loads, but if you wait for a full load, you don’t wash as often. Throw those dish towels or sweatshirts in the washing machine. Add the coffee carafe and basket to the dishwasher load. If you look around you can find things to add for a full load.
Outdoor Conservation Tips
- Plant drought-tolerant/resistant plants and trees – most nurseries have a drought resistant plant section
- Recycle indoor water to use on plants – grey water such as waste water from showers, baths, basins, and washing machines can be reused.
- Refrain from watering your home landscape when it rains – check your irrigation system monthly
- Replace your grass/turf with water-wise plants or consider going with a desert landscape
- Use a broom or leaf blower to clean driveways, patios, and sidewalks instead of water from a hose
- Water your outdoor landscape earlier in the day when temperatures are cooler
- Replace your downspouts with a chain and have water go into a rain barrel to collect water for reuse.