Actionable Ways to Save Water
Water is something many of us take for granted, but we need to remember that water is a precious resource. And the events of this year, drought, low stream flows and more, remind us just how important protecting and preserving our water really is. A recent study by the Natural Resource Defense Council
suggests that by mid-century, half the counties in the US will be facing water scarcity. According to US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Water Sense
, the average American family of four uses about 400 gallons of water per day at home. Roughly 70 percent of this use occurs indoors. Surprisingly, an individual home can waste 10,000 gallons of water a year to leaking fixtures, that’s enough to fill an indoor swimming pool according to Water Sense!
The great thing is that there are many ways each and every one of us can help reduce our water usage as well as keep it clean; as a group these small changes provide real impact.
First up, fix leaks; a drip here and a drop there adds up! A good method to check for leaks is to examine your winter water usage. It's likely that a family of four has a serious leak problem if winter water use exceeds 12,000 gallons per month. Fixing easily corrected household water leaks can save more than 10 percent on your water bills. Where to start? Examine faucet gaskets and pipe fittings for signs of water. If you’re concerned about an outdoor irrigation system, hire a professional to inspect it.
Turn off the water when you brush your teeth – no need to keep it running while you’re brushing. You can employ the same technique in the shower, turn off the shower when lathering or take a shorter shower! Get this; a showerhead leaking at 10 drips per minute wastes more than 500 gallons per year. That's enough water to wash 60 loads of dishes in the dishwasher.
Invest in a water-efficient washing machine and dishwasher- and make sure to always run both only when full (this will also save on detergent!) It’s thought that a dishwasher uses about half as much water as hand washing dishes, and newer more efficient dishwashers can use less than 3 gallons per load. Old washing machines are water guzzlers, using as much as 45 gallons of water per load - wow looks like it’s time to invest in a more efficient updated model!
Keep harmful substances out of the water. Don't put hazardous materials, pesticides, oil, prescription drugs, or personal care products down the drain or toilet - they'll wind up in local waterways. To find out how and where to dispose safely of these products, visit the EPA’s waste website
. Animal waste also causes issues, so it's important to clean up after your pets. Dispose of their waste in the garbage.
Nix your lawn! Researchers have documented that our lawns cover forty million acres and rank as the US’s largest irrigated crop. Yikes! Use water efficiently outdoors and landscape your yard with native and drought-tolerant plants. Direct water runoff from your roof to strategic spots of your lawn or garden.
For more on how to detect and fix a leak visit Water Sense
The information from this article was provided by NRDC