How To Save Water in the Home
If you’ve listened to the news at all in the past few years, you’ve heard about the drought in California. Between 2011 – 2016, California experienced an exceptional drought. In fact, it was so bad in 2014 that it was the driest that California had been since records began. Despite northern California receiving large amounts of rain this fall, most of the state of California is still deeply in drought and they aren’t the only ones. Large swatches of the country are experiencing drought conditions currently, ranging from abnormally dry to exceptional. Take a look at the current drought monitor of the United States.
New England, parts of the South, and the West coast are all in drought conditions, which affects hundreds of millions of people. If you’re in a drought area, you may have been asked to save water by practicing water conservation techniques in the home, or, in the more extreme cases, you may have been told to cut your water usage, or risk facing consequences.
You may think that your one household cutting back on water won’t have much of an affect in a drought, but consider this: The average American family of four uses 400 gallons of water per day. Now times that number by the millions of families living in drought areas. The gallons add up quick. Having affected households cut down on their water usage by 10%, 15%, or 25% saves millions of gallons of water every day.
That being said, here’s a list of 9 things you can do to save water in the home.
Turning Tap Off While Brushing
The average faucet uses 2.5 gallons of water per minute. Leaving your faucet running while you are brushing your teeth wastes an extreme amount of water. Don’t let all that water rush down the drain. Turn the faucet off while you are brushing and save a few gallons of water!
Turning Tap Off While Washing Your Hands
The same thing applies to washing your hands. Do you really need to leave the faucet running while you are scrubbing your hands with soap? Instead, turn the water on to wet your hands enough to lather the soap, turn the faucet off while you wash, then turn it back on when you need to rinse.
Reuse Cooking Water
If you are using lots of water to cook, consider reusing that water after you are done. Large pots of pasta use gallons and gallons of water and that water is still mostly clean after the pasta is boiled. By pouring it aside and letting it cool, you can reuse it to water your plants or lawn.
Most people know that showering uses less water than taking a bath, but older shower heads can still use as much as 5 gallons of water per minute. Cutting showers down to 5 minutes or less will save thousands of gallons of water a year for your home. Additionally, it isn’t for everyone, but consider cutting your showers to every other day. Dermatologists say that showering everyday could actually be bad for your appearance, as daily showers strip your body of natural oils.
Fix Your Leaks
We’ve said it before: leaking faucets and pipes can waste a lot of water. You can drip 2,000 or more gallons of water a year down the drain by letting a leaky faucet go on.
Change to Efficient Fixtures
Older fixtures in your house use much more water than newer ones. Consider investing in low-flow toilets, efficient shower heads, and WaterSense labelled fixtures. Showering with a WaterSense shower head cuts back on water usage, which also cuts back on water heating, which saves both water and money.
Check out some of our WaterSense certified products, such as this Delta bathroom faucet.
Install a Rain Barrel
Setting up a rain barrel in your yard is the perfect way to save water for your all your outdoor uses. Look at HGTV’s instructions for making a rain barrel for your home. They can be found here.
Water Lawns in Early Morning
Watering your lawn or plants in the early morning is more effective because the cooler temperatures in the morning hours mean that the water has more time to sit before it evaporates, which means you need less water.
Cut Down on the Electricity
This is more of an indirect way to save water. Power plants use thousands of gallons of water every day to cool down. Using less energy in your home lowers the demand on power plants, which lowers their water consumption. Plus, you save money on your energy bill!
Check with your local government about incentives and rebates for practicing water conservation. California in particular has numerous programs for residence to switch to water-saving appliances and lawn-care. You can read more about those incentives here.
What do you think? What have you been doing to save water in your home? Let us know!