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How Do We Conserve Natural Resources? Best Water Conservation Methods

Updated on July 29, 2017
Try placing stickers in appropriate places around the house, reminding members of the family to conserve water.
Try placing stickers in appropriate places around the house, reminding members of the family to conserve water. | Source

How would you react if your morning paper proffered headlines suggesting that the world was in crisis, because of unprecedented shortages of water and food?

It's a frightening scenario, isn't it?

Yet time and time again we are reminded that our current lifestyles and the rate at which we are using, abusing, and wasting natural resources may eventually lead to disaster, for all of us.

But it doesn't have to be this way. If we learn to conserve the natural resources that we have by altering our lifestyles and thinking carefully about what we use and how, there's hope for us yet!

So how do we conserve natural resources? And what are the best water conservation methods?

How Can We Conserve Electricity?

Experts predict that within 40 years our oil reserves will be completely depleted, and once they are gone they are gone for ever. But what can we do about this? Read Conservation of energy and resources; how can we conserve electricity to find out more.

Why Do We Need to Conserve Natural Resources?

Every resource that man needs to survive is provided by nature: food, air, shelter (wood from trees) and water. And other resources, such as electricity and fossil fuels ensure that as societies we have transportation, can produce goods, heat our homes when the weather is cold and power our much loved gadgets.

Some of these resources are renewable, we can replace them, such as plants (food), water and trees, whilst others such as fossil fuels are nonrenewable. Once we have depleted these resources they are gone forever.

Growing populations, waste and pollution have all ensured that we are not only using renewable resources faster than we can replenish them, but are abusing the resources which we do have.

Poor farming practices ensure the erosion of much needed soil for agriculture, the over hunting of animals leads to shortages of some foods (like certain species of fish) the use of pesticides and other toxins has polluted our air and water supplies.

And when it comes to our usage of fossil fuels we're like a species hell bent on self destruction.

Why does this matter? Well, if we continue at this rate our most basic means for survival will be in such short supply that the world will be in crisis. Such catastrophic events may not happen during your lifetime, but possibly within the lifetime of your children, and certainly within the lifetime of your grandchildren.

The Global Water Crisis is Already Here

In some parts of the world the demand for water already exceeds the supply.
In some parts of the world the demand for water already exceeds the supply. | Source

How Do We Conserve Our Natural Resources When it Comes to Water? It Begins With The Way You Think About Water

Did you know that despite being a renewable resource the world's supply of clean, safe water is steadily and consistently decreasing? Or that in some parts of the world the demand for water already exceeds supply?

Just fifty years ago, the world's population was half of that today which stands at seven billion people. And by 2050 it is forecast that the world's population will reach a staggering nine billion people, which means that the global demand for water can only increase.

And just fifty years ago, it was assumed that the world's water supply was infinite because it is a renewable resource. Renewable it is, but overtime there will, quite frankly, not be enough water to meet the needs of the global population. At least, not at the rate we are using and abusing this most precious resource.

There is much we can do as individuals and as a collective, to counter our decreasing supply. However, it starts with you and your family, and how you think about, use and conserve water. Try using small stickers in bathrooms and kitchens, to remind other family members, especially children, to think carefully about how much water they're using- and always to turn off dripping faucets and taps.

Conserve Water by Thinking About the Way You Tend Your Garden

The garden is one area where so much water is wasted, and whilst it is not a sin to love your garden and it's contents, it is a sin to needlessly waste such a precious resource. Help conserve water by:

  • Use compost and mulch on your flower beds, vegetable gardens, trees and shrubs. Both prevent the evaporation of water from the soil, ensuring that water is held where the plants need it.
  • Opt for low water use plants. Once these plants are established they will survive on rainwater alone.
  • Use an outdoor water timer to ensure that you use the right amount of water, at the right time and frequency.
  • Halve water usage in the garden by using drip irrigation or a soaker hose.
  • Water early in the morning as midday watering results in a significant amount of water evaporating.
  • Direct any downspouts onto your lawn, on to rain gardens (if you want to know more about rain gardens follow the link), or into a rain barrel.
  • Use a stiff bristled broom to clean your driveway and yard, as opposed to a hose.
  • When you clean out the fish tank, use the old water to water your hanging baskets, outdoor and house plants. The water contains nutrients which will benefit your plants.
  • Likewise, when you give your pets fresh water use the old remaining water on your outdoor and indoor plants.
  • Place ice cubes in the soil or under the moss of your hanging baskets, planters and house plants to avoid overflow and wasted water.

Learn Water Saving Gardening Techniques


How to Conserve Water in the Home

There are countless ways to save water in the home, many are obvious but we haven't previously given them much thought.

Whether bathing, cooking, cleaning or doing the laundry, you could literally save hundreds of gallons of water per month by thinking about how you use this resource. And, of course, if you're saving water you're saving money. Think about the savings which you will make on your water bills.

When Washing and Bathing Save Water By:

  • Save up to 150 gallons of water per person, per month by shortening the amount of time you spend in the shower by a couple of minutes.
  • And, reduce your water consumption by a further 40%, by installing a water saving shower head.
  • When running your bathwater, plug the bath immediately rather than waiting for desired water temperature, adjust the temperature as the bath fills.
  • Install a water saving faucet in the bathroom, or save up to 25 gallons of water per month by turning off the taps when brushing teeth, lathering hands, shaving and washing your face.
  • Always ensure that faucets are closed properly after use.
  • Save up to 150 gallons a month by turning off the water while you wash your hair.

When Cooking, Cleaning and Doing the Laundry Save Water By:

Ensuring that you wash your fresh produce such as fruit and vegetables, in a bowl or pan of water rather than rinsing under a running faucet. Save the water and water your plants with it.

  • Defrost food in the refrigerator rather than rinsing it under running water.
  • Soak dirty dishes and pans rather than scraping them clean under running water.
  • Install water saving faucets in your kitchen.
  • When hand washing dirty dishes and pans, fill a large bowl with water and rinse the suds from the dishes as opposed to rinsing them under running water.
  • When boiling food such as vegetables, use just enough water to cover them. Cover the pan and the steam will help to cook the food.
  • You can save up to a 1000 gallons a month by only using your dishwashers and washing machines when you have a full load.
  • If you have decided to invest in new appliances, opt for energy efficient and water saving models, such as the ones which offer load and cycle adjustments.
  • If your toilet is an older model, such as those manufactured or fitted before 1992, fit a displacement device in the tank, thereby reducing the amount of water needed for each flush.
  • Avoid buying children water guns or toys, they use a phenomenal amount of water and there's other ways that kids can have fun.
  • Invest in products that display the EPA water label, ensuring that they are 20% more water efficient than any other models.

Share, don't copy.


Submit a Comment
  • someonewhoknows profile image


    5 years ago from south and west of canada,north of ohio

    Awareness is probably the single greatest way to conserve water and energy. Awareness brings knowledge of how to conserve as well as increase water and energy availability. Science can point the way ,but it's only where there is the " will" that the "way" will not only be found but utilized.

  • profile image


    5 years ago

    this paragraph in my choice it has no gist and no meaning

  • HollieT profile imageAUTHOR


    6 years ago from Manchester, United Kingdom

    Hi LongTime Mother,

    That's such a clever way of utilizing rainwater! And thank you.

  • LongTimeMother profile image


    6 years ago from Australia

    Great advice, HollieT. In my home we are obsessive about not wasting water because we only use rainwater collected from our roof and in the dam for the gardens and animals.

    Voted up and sharing it. :)

  • HollieT profile imageAUTHOR


    6 years ago from Manchester, United Kingdom

    Hi John,

    I agree, water pollution is a major problem for the world. Thanks for commenting.

  • profile image

    john lugun 

    6 years ago

    if i could protect water from its pollution......... i might think that i am great man.............. cause water pollution is major problem in our earth.......

  • HollieT profile imageAUTHOR


    6 years ago from Manchester, United Kingdom

    Thank you, Watergeek. I appreciate the comment.

  • watergeek profile image

    Susette Horspool 

    6 years ago from Pasadena CA

    Very well written, Hollie. This is my field and you've covered a lot of material here in a very succinct way. Congratulations!

  • HollieT profile imageAUTHOR


    6 years ago from Manchester, United Kingdom

    Hi Hschneider,

    Thank you, I agree that the problem can only get worse and that we need to start making some changes now while we still can.

  • profile image

    Howard Schneider 

    6 years ago from Parsippany, New Jersey

    Great water conservation tips, HollieT. This problem will only grow as global warming advances so we must be vigilant with this issue.

  • HollieT profile imageAUTHOR


    6 years ago from Manchester, United Kingdom

    Thanks, Aviannovice.

    I imagine in the US it's different because you have a fair amount of arid land, but in the UK people don't really think about the issue as much as they should. Sometimes we are warned and there's hosepipe bans etc. when there hasn't been much rainfall, but other than that water is just wasted. I suppose it's because we're so used to the rain as well (not the best weather here :() And people just think that it could never happen to us. I enjoy reading your comments, Aviannovice, thanks for visiting.

  • aviannovice profile image

    Deb Hirt 

    6 years ago from Stillwater, OK

    When we were young, the next door neighbor washed her dishes in a pan, then watered her flower garden with the water. Use rain barrels for watering the garden. Put a water filled half gallon used milk jug in your older model toilet to use less flush water. Use your greywater(from the washer) to water your plants. At work, I have helped them save water, too. If you're in a city, any of this will save water and the cost for water. It is always good to repeat the facts with a new article every once in a while to remind people about saving water. Nice work, Hollie!

  • HollieT profile imageAUTHOR


    6 years ago from Manchester, United Kingdom

    Absolutely, shortermism at it's finest. Earning the money, by whatever means, so that little Jonny can have the best trainers and that new video game seems to trump all else.

    I'm not sure whether it's down to ignorance or denial, but it certainly seems that many only think about now, and whatever financial gains they can make. It doesn't matter how much money we have in the future, we will not be able to buy a pod which takes our children, their children, away from the disaster which we are creating.

    Thanks for commenting. :)

  • profile image

    R. J. Lefebvre 

    6 years ago

    Hollie T,

    You're absolutely right about the future for those who must contend with the environment we left behind. Most people are more interested in financial power today than the future of their family.



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