8 Easy Ways to Save Water During a Summer Drought
For the past couple of years, we have had severe drought issues down in Texas. Conserving water has become a necessity to ensure the city water supply will support everyone's needs for longer periods of time. Not to mention, it is extremely easy to make basic changes both to conserve resources and to save money on your water bill. Some simple tips for reducing water consumption that I recommend include:
1. Turn off the faucet when soaping dishes to be washed.
You really don't need to leave the water faucet running the entire time while soaping up your dishes. Turn on the water to rinse off the food and stains, but when it's time to soap the dishes or wipe them with a sponge, turn off the faucet to save some water.
2. Turn off the faucet while brushing your teeth or washing your face.
Do you really need to use the running water from the faucet initially when you are brushing your teeth or covering your face with face wash/soap? Did you know that you can save gallons of water just by turning the faucet off while taking care of your daily needs?
3. Only do laundry with a full load of clothes.
One load of laundry can use between 10-50 gallons of water, depending on the type of washer you have! It is a really simple thing to save up your dirty clothes until you have a full load before doing your laundry, and you'll be saving water for others to use!
4. Use a timed sprinkler system which waters early morning or late night.
I recommend using a sprinkler system because you can generally configure your sprinkler system to water a certain amount per day. If you don't want to invest in a sprinkler system, Home Depot, Lowes, or your local hardware stores generally sell programmable timed outdoor faucet attachments which allow you to set when and how long you want to water for. At our house, we use these in conjunction with soaker hoses to water our plants. You can easily attach a sprinkler to one of these as well. By watering early in the morning or late at night, you also reduce the amount of water that is lost to evaporation so that more can soak deep into the ground for your plants.
5. Water your yard every 2-3 days instead of everyday
Your grass and plants should survive without you having to water your yard everyday. Try sprinkling every other day or every 3rd day to see how your lawn fares. This will vary for every yard and season, so experiment for a week first before setting on a schedule. There usually isn't a need to water the lawn every single day though.
6. Limit showers to 5 minutes or less (and shower instead of bathe).
Showering is another one of those huge gallon hogs. You can easily save a lot of water simply by limiting your shower to 5 minutes or less. There's no reason to stand in the shower for 30-40 minutes to finish off your one-man karaoke concert (you know who you are!).
7. Switch to shower heads and faucet aerators with flow control.
One of the easiest changes you can make, if you do nothing else, is to switch out all of your shower heads for ones that allow you to change the flow control. This allows you to have your usual nice, long, shower (if you absolutely must have one), but still saves you water by limiting the amount of water that flows within a given amount of time. Likewise, you can buy inexpensive aerators for your faucet (the metal net/filter attachments to the head of your faucet) which can also limit the flow of your kitchen and bathroom sink water.
8. Use a rain barrel for watering your yard .
I have not used this method before, but it seems like a great idea! Leave a rain barrel out in your yard to collect water when it does rain. Then use the water out of the rain barrel to water some of your plants instead of using your outdoor hose.
It doesn't matter if you choose to try one or all of the above methods for saving water in your home. Making just a few changes can really impact the availability of water in your community and in the environment, and the amount that appears on your monthly water bill!