WHAT CAN I DO TO CONSERVE?
Equally as important to conserving is to protect our water source,
- Leaks are the biggest water wasters.
If you suspect a leak, check pipes, , faucets, toilets, etc. Have repairs made immediately.
- Install water-saving devices such as faucet aerators or displacement devices for toilets.
- Recycle-never put water down the drain when there may be another use for it such as watering a plant or garden or cleaning.
- Insulate your water pipes. You'll get hot water faster plus avoid wasting water while it heats up.
- Look for appliances with water-saving features when replacing them..
- Teach your children to conserve water. It's easier to start good water-using habits than to break wasteful habits later.
Plants and Shrubs
- Consider alternate landscaping practices-replace turf areas with ground covers.
- Plant drought-resistant plants. Consider water consumption when selecting plants-there are lots of good gardening books available-consult your local library.
- Mulch plants. - you can use leaves, lawn clippings or even strips of plastic!
- Eliminate weeds-they compete with grass and other plant material for water.
- Remember the importance of plant placement. Shade-loving plants will not do well in the sun, and sun-loving plants will not do well in the shade, no matter how much water you give them.
- Plant type and soil conditions play a large role in determining when and how much to water. Different soil types have different water retention capabilities. Ask your local nursery or extension office to recommend low water-using plants and ways to increase your soil's water-holding capacity.
- Form ditches or basins around plants to prevent runoff of water.
Other Outside Uses
- Use a broom to clean the driveway or sidewalk instead of water.
- Consider using a commercial car wash that recycles water.
- Keep the level of water in your pool low to minimize splashing.
- Use a cover to slow evaporation (keeps water cleaner too).
- Recycle wading pool water for plants, shrubs and lawns.
- Thaw frozen food in your refrigerator or microwave, not under running water.
- Use a small dish pan for rinsing or peeling vegetables, etc.
- Scrape dishes but do not pre-rinse. Soak pots and pans before washing.
- Use your garbage disposal sparingly-use a garbage can or compost pile instead.
- Presoak grills, oven parts, etc. overnight. You will use less elbow grease and less water.
- Wash dishes in dishwasher only when you have a full load.
- Keep a pitcher of water in the refrigerator instead of running water to cool it.
- Use cloth instead of paper towels.
- Cook vegetables with a minimum amount of water, and save cooking water for soup stock.
- Make only the amount of coffee, tea, etc. you need.
- Install conservation devices such as aerators or low-flow showerheads.
- Put waste paper in the waste basket; do not flush it down the toilet.
- Avoid the "running faucet" while shaving, brushing teeth.
- If you have an older home, consider installing a low-flow toilet.
- Take shorter showers. Limit showers to five minutes (or less!).
- Use the minimum amount of water for a bath by closing the drain first and filling the tub only 1/3 full. Stopper tub before turning on water-the initial burst of cold water can be warmed by adding hot water later.
- Use a water displacement device in the toilet tank.
- Test your toilet for leaks by putting a few drops of food coloring in the toilet tank. Wait 15 minutes. If the water in the toilet bowl has turned color, you have a leak. Repair promptly.
- Wash clothes in the washing machine only when you have a full load.
- Match the water level to the load size. Presoak heavily soiled items.
- Always use minimum amount of detergent.
AWAY FROM HOME
- Patronize businesses which practice and promote water conservation, such as restaurants that only serve water upon request.
- Encourage your employer to promote water conservation in the workplace.
- Encourage your school system and local government to help develop and promote a water conservation ethic among children and adults.