Will Water be Worth its Weight in Gold Soon?

Water drop

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Below are the top 7 ways to save water both through more efficient appliances as well as curtailment actions.


1. Upgrade your landscaping

Use water-wise landscaping instead of lawns. If you love the look of green grass, many of the new types of turf grass look and feel completely natural. Depending on your location, you might try desert landscaping, which replaces lawns with gravel, or decorative rocks, with various types of flowering cactus sprinkled throughout. Replace ornamental shrubs with large, decorative rocks or statues. Be creative! There are dozens of low or no water landscaping ideas online.


2. Stop toilet water waste

Toilets account for about 38 percent of the water used in most households. So first, check for leaks. Place a small amount of dye in the tank, (such as food coloring) then wait to see if anything leaks into the bowl. If it does, adjust the water level or consider buying a new, low flush toilet. Most people can replace toilets on their own and the new models run less than 200 dollars. Also, never use your toilet as a trashcan or ashtray. Every time you flush a tissue or cigarette butt, you waste about 5 to 7 gallons of water. You might also want to think about how often you flush. Seriously, for most of us, we don’t have to flush every little thing do we? Some families have adopted a water saving mantra of “If it’s yellow, let it mellow, when it’s brown, flush it down.” Hopefully, you catch the drift and this doesn’t require a more detailed explanation.


3. Turn off the water

This means turn off the water while you are brushing your teeth, while you soap up in the shower, while you are washing the car, even when you are washing your hands. It might seem silly to shut off the faucet for 15 or 30 seconds but all those little ½ gallons add up. Fill the sink with a bit of water and rinse your razor when you are shaving instead of rinsing it under running water. Don’t wash dishes under running water but fill two sinks, one for washing, one for rinsing. When washing vegetables, don’t allow the water to run, use a pan or bowl of water or rinse them in a sink full of water. These little tricks save literally gallons of water every day.


4. Only wash full loads

This includes the dishwasher and the washing machine. Never let these appliances run their full cycle for just a few items. If you have a couple items that you simply must wash, such as a uniform for work, wash it by hand in the sink. Also, consider replacing older appliances with Energy Star rated machines that use considerably less electricity as well as water. Front loading washing machines tend to use much less water than top loading machines. If you really want to go a step further, instead of allowing your washing machine to dump water into the sewer system, reroute the drain hose to water your garden, or have it dump into a barrel so you can water your plants by hand. As long as it doesn’t contain bleach, simple household laundry soaps won’t hurt your lawn or your flowers.


5. Save rainwater

This is a common practice in most countries that works extremely well. Instead of allowing rain to get washed into the sewers, add rain gutters or reroute your rain gutters to empty into rain barrels so that you can use that water later for your plants, lawns, car washing, dog washing, or what-have-you. Just one inch of rainfall on a 1,000 square foot roof can add up to 600 gallons of water. If you have enough land, consider placing an underground cistern for that rainwater to be collected in. A small water pump can be connected to a garden hose, and you can have all the “free” water you wish for your yard or garden all summer long, even if there is a drought!


6. Use your broom and get a free workout

Don’t use the hose to wash down driveways and patios. You waste about 5 gallons of water every 5 minutes! Use your broom and build up those biceps while you are at it! If you must wash down a concrete surface, use a bucket of water; sweep the water and dirt away, instead of running the hose.


7. Put low flow or aerators everywhere

If you haven’t already done so, those low flow showerheads and aerator faucet heads are inexpensive and you can install them yourself. These really do add up to great water savings and most people never notice the difference. Before you buy, check the label for the GPM (gallons per minute) Showers will need the 2.5 GPM in order for you to feel as if you have sufficient pressure, as well as for the kitchen sink, but for bathroom faucets, go with the 1.5 GPM. You save a gallon of water every single minute the faucet is running but you won’t notice the difference.

Don’t forget to check for leaks everywhere and have them repaired promptly should you find any. Be creative in your water conservation efforts so we don’t find ourselves high and dry someday.




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