We are all aware of the country’s dire need for clean water. The summer months are especially tough for dry southern areas, including southern California and the entire southwest. A few simple changes can affect your overall water use immensely. This summer, make the most of your water consumption with the following tips on water conservation.
- Turn off the faucet – Whether you’re brushing your teeth, shaving or cooking, simply turning the water off when you’re not directly using it can save untold gallons.
- Reuse where you can – Catch the water your shower wastes while you’re waiting for the temperature to warm up. This water can be reused to water houseplants or for pets.
- Go natural – Collect rain. Water collection units are a great way to catch and store 40-80 gallons of water at a time. Additionally, these units can serve as decorative accents and are easily camouflaged so they will not ruin your outdoor aesthetic.
- Work with nature, not against it – Water the lawn early in the morning. By getting up a few minutes earlier, you cash in on the help provided by natural dew that accumulates on grass and other plants and can save up to 25 gallons of water a day.
- Wait – Only wash full loads of laundry or dishes. By just waiting for enough dirty items to accumulate you can save 15 to 50 gallons of water per load.
- Get in and get out – Shortening showers by only one minute saves up to 5 gallons a day.
- Sweep - Use a broom to clean off sidewalks and driveways. Hosing them down just wastes water that can be used for the lawn or washing the car. It also adds more sewage to storm drains which ultimately flow into the ocean. Sweeping helps save water and prevents water pollution.
- Fake is great – Install artificial grass. With ever expanding technology, artificial turf looks better and feels more natural than ever before. Plus, it goes without saying that it requires absolutely zero watering to maintain its color and quality.
- Take a page from Mother Nature’s playbook – Use native plants in your outdoor landscaping. Plants that are indigenous to your area typically require little care and water. Save yourself time and save the community some water while still maintaining a natural outdoor feel in your backyard or patio.
- Take up space - Decorative fountains can be a great centerpiece for a patio or lawn and can take up space where grass might normally be needed. While fountains do require some water initially, they require little refilling and provide aesthetic appeal and soothing tones while not wasting water.
To be sure, one individual or household is not expected to take advantage of 100% of this advice. However, if everyone does a little to help conserve water, we will all be doing ourselves, our communities and our planet a big favor. Do your share this summer to ensure that our water sources are around for generations to come.