With the heat of summer upon us and one of the worst droughts in recent history starting to affect water supplies, it is time once again to turn our attention to water conservation. Here are a few things you can do to conserve water at home and help ease the impact of the drought.
Fix leaky faucets and plumbing joints. Saves 20 gallons per day for every leak stopped
Turn off the water while brushing your teeth. Saves three gallons each day.
Turn off the water while shaving. Fill the bottom of the sink with a few inches of water to rinse your razor. Saves three gallons each day.
Shorten your showers. Even a one or two-minute reduction can save up to 700 gallons per month.
Don't use your toilet as an ashtray or wastebasket. Saves 400 to 600 gallons per month.
Capture tap water. While you wait for hot water to come down the pipes, catch the flow in a watering can to use later on house plants or your garden. Saves 200 to 300 gallons per month.
Run only full loads in the washing machine and dishwasher. Can save 300 to 800 gallons per month.
If you wash dishes by hand, don't leave the water running for rinsing. If you have two sinks, fill one with rinse water. If you only have one sink, use a spray device or short blasts instead of letting the water run. Saves 200 to 500 gallons a month.
When washing dishes by hand, use the least amount of detergent possible. This minimizes rinse water needed. Saves 50 to 150 gallons a month.
Keep a bottle of drinking water in the refrigerator. This beats the wasteful habit of running tap water to cool it for drinking. Saves 200 to 300 gallons a month.
Don't defrost frozen foods with running water. Either plan ahead by placing frozen items in the refrigerator overnight or defrost them in the microwave. Saves 50 to 150 gallons a month.
Don't let the faucet run while you clean vegetables. Rinse them in a filled sink or pan. Saves 150 to 250 gallons a month.
Use the garbage disposal less and the garbage can more (even better, compost!). Saves 50 to 150 gallons a month.
Water your lawn only when it needs it. Step on your grass; If it springs back when you lift your foot, it doesn't need water. Set your sprinklers for more days in between watering. Saves 750-1,500 gallons per month.
Don't water the sidewalks, driveway or gutter. Adjust your sprinklers so that water lands on your lawn or garden where it belongs – and only there. Saves 500 gallons per month.
Put a layer of mulch around trees and plants. Chunks of bark, peat moss or gravel slows down evaporation. Saves 750 to 1,500 gallons a month.
Water plants during the cool parts of the day. Early morning is better than dusk since it helps prevent the growth of fungus. Saves 300 gallons.
Don't water the lawn on windy days. There's too much evaporation. Can waste up to 300 gallons in one watering.
Cut down watering on cool and overcast days and don't water in the rain. Adjust or deactivate automatic sprinklers. Can save up to 300 gallons each time.
Set lawn mower blades one notch higher. Longer grass means less evaporation. Saves 500 to 1,500 gallons each month.
Use a broom instead of a hose to clean driveways and sidewalks. Saves 150 gallons or more each time. At once a week, that's more than 600 gallons a month.
Don't run the hose while washing your car. Use a bucket of water and a quick hose rinse at the end. Saves 150 gallons each time.
If you have a pool, use a pool cover to cut down on evaporation. It will also keep your pool cleaner and reduce the need to add chemicals. Saves 1,000 gallons a month.
Have an evaporative air conditioner? Direct the water drain line to a flower bed, tree base, or lawn.
Drive your car onto a lawn to wash it. Rinse water can help water the grass.
If you allow your children to play in the sprinklers, make sure it's only when you're watering the yard.