ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

7 Ways to Conserve Water During a Drought

Updated on February 18, 2013
Use sprinlers less often, and during cooler parts of the day.
Use sprinlers less often, and during cooler parts of the day. | Source

By Joan Whetzel

Americans use an average of 100 to 175 gallons of water daily. However, when an area is under extreme drought conditiions and high fire danger, and when if temperatures hover in the triple digits, it is essential that water be curtailed in order to maintain water supplies and water pressure. So many communities in the southern states - likeTexas, Louisiana and parts of Oklahoma - enact water restrictions to encourage water conservation. Here are 7 ways for people living in drought stricken areas to conserve water.

1. Conserve on Lawn Watering

As an incentive to use less water on the lawn, you may be interested to know that curbing water usage on lawns and landscaping means you get to mow less often. Here are a few methods for lawn watering conservation.

  • Give the lawn only 1 inch of water per week. Either use a timer that cuts off after 1 inch has been delivered, or place a rain catching device in the yard the next time the sprinkler is turned on. Then measure how long it takes to reach one inch of water.
  • Only water the lawn early in the morning or later in the evening, not in the heat of the day. Midday heat increases evaporation, minimizing the amount that is actually being fed to the lawn. In addition, any water resting on the surface of the grass magnifies the afternoon sun, which burns the grass. Remember those experiments that use magnifying glasses to start fires? It's the same effect.
  • Place thick layers of mulch around plants and flower beds. The mulch retains water and keeps the beds moist for longer periods.
  • Place sprinklers so that only lawns and landscaping are getting watered, not concrete sidewalks and driveways, which only speed evaporation.
  • Plant heat and drought tolerant plants.

2. Collecting Rain

Some areas are lucky enough to get occasional rains (yet not enough for drought relief). For those living in areas with a bit of rain, but still in drought conditions:

  • Set up tubs, buckets or pots around the yard to collect the rain water.
  • Set up barrels to collect rain from the gutters.
  • Set up a rainwater collection system during the rainy season to hedge your bets against a dry spell.
  • Use the collected rain water to water your plants.

3. Turn Off Faucets and Fix Leaks

Gallons of water get wasted daily due to leaky plumbing or simply leaving the water running. Waste less water with these suggestions:

  • Repair leaky faucets and toilets. The repairs are cheap and the water savings huge.
  • When brushing teeth or shaving, turn off the faucet until it's time to rinse.
  • Use garbage disposals less, since they require huge amounts of water to keep the garbage moving down the pipeline. Instead consider creating a compost pile which can be used to mulch plant beds.
  • Don't use running water to rinse dishes when washing dishes by hand. For double sinks, fill one with soapy water and one with clean rinse water. For single basin sinks, fill the sink with soapy water and a plastic rinse basin with fresh water for rinsing.

4. Full Loads in the Dishwasher and Washing Machine

Other ways to use less water for dishes and laundry include the following:

  • Only operate the washing machine and dishwasher when completely full.
  • Install high-efficiency appliances.
  • Don't pre-rinse dishes before placing them in the dishwasher. It isn't strictly necessary since most modern dishwashers do a good job of cleaning dishes without pre-rinsing.

5. Shorter Showers and Less Bathwater

Yes, there are ways to use less water on personal hygiene. Take a cue from the military - no more "Hollywood Showers."

  • Take shorter showers, which use less water than filling a bathtub.
  • Take shallower baths, reducing the water level 1 to 2 inches.

6. Carwash Conservation

This area of conservation may disturb some people more than others.

  • Conserve water by washing cars less frequently. Gasp! (It's only temporary.)
  • If the car must be washed (for job purposes or for special occasion like a wedding), fill a bucket with soapy water and use a hose with a cut-off nozzle.
  • Better yet, try one of the new eco-friendly waterless car wash systems. They're supposed to clean, shine and protect your car without any water.

7. Water Conservation Fixtures

Faucets and showerheads allow a lot of water to flow down the drain. Try this:

  • Install low-flow faucet aerators in all sinks.
  • Replace showerheads with low-flow restrictors.

Home water conservation techniques don't have to cost a lot of money. True, the water saving appliances can be costly up front, but will save water and money over time. Most of the drought time water saving methods cost little or no money. It's simply a matter of making a conscious effort to turn the water off. Not only will water be saved for everyone's benefit, you'll see a fringe benefit of your own as well - a lower monthly water bill.


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • Stephanie Henkel profile image

      Stephanie Henkel 

      6 years ago from USA

      Excellent tips for conserving water! I believe that as good water becomes less available, we should all do what we can to conserve water all the time, not just in times of drought, and the tips you offered should become our common practice. Rated up, useful. Thanks!

    • joanwz profile imageAUTHOR

      Joan Whetzel 

      6 years ago from Katy, Texas

      Scearcex4 - Thanks for the info on soaker hoses. I'll be looking into those.

    • scearcex4 profile image


      6 years ago from Virginia

      Soaker hoses deliver water right to the roots of plants so are much more efficient and cost effective than using a sprinkler.

    • susannah42 profile image


      6 years ago from Florida

      I also do not let the water run when rinsing dishes and brushing teeth.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)