Reducing water use in your home may save you a few extra dollars on your water bill, but there are far more important reasons to conserve water. Water conservation has many positive environmental effects, including preserving fresh water habitats and saving energy.
A great deal of energy goes into transporting water to your residence, and more is used to heat water for your kitchen and bathrooms. Conserving water can prevent some of the pollution caused by excessive energy use while allowing you to save on your energy bill.
When we use too much water, the result can also be detrimental to the environment. Much of the water that we consume comes from underground reserves. If this water is used faster than it is replenished, the land above the water reserves can sink. Once subsidence occurs, the underground aquifers where water was stored cannot be reformed and area that relied on the aquifer will have to find other sources of water.
Following are some suggestions on ways to save water:
- Take showers rather than baths. Showers use about a third as much water.
- Take shorter showers.
- Avoid leaving the water running while shaving and brushing teeth.
- Don’t use the toilet as a trash can.
- Use the dishwasher and washing machine only with full loads.
- Don’t run water continuously for vegetable and dish washing.
- Water lawns in the morning to avoid evaporation.
- Keep grass at least two inches high to shade roots.
- Use mulch or ground covering plants to prevent excessive evaporation.
- Use waste water from the house to water your garden.
- Plant native or drought tolerant plants.
- Water trees slowly, deeply and infrequently to encourage deep rooting. A slow drip for an hour once a week should be sufficient for most trees.
- Use a broom rather than the hose to clean off walkways, patios and other outdoor areas.
- When washing your car, use a bucket of water or a hose with an automatic shut-off nozzle instead of letting the hose run.