If you live in a developed country like America or Canada, you logically know that not everyone enjoys the same easy access to clean water you do. What you may not be as aware is just how fortunate you really are. Approximately one out of every ten people worldwide don’t have access to safe, drinkable water. That’s 663 million people total, about twice the population of the United States.
Even here in America, many areas struggle with droughts and other circumstances that make water an especially precious resource, so water conservation is more important than ever before. By making sure your household uses water responsibly, you’re doing your part to make sure there’s enough clean water to go around. You’ll save money on your utility bill, to boot! The following are just a few of the ways you and your family can get started.
“If it’s yellow, let it mellow.”
Did you know that your toilet is among the most water-intensive fixtures you have in your entire home? By flushing it only when it’s absolutely necessary, you can save a lot of water, especially over time and especially if you get your entire household on board. Naturally, this option isn’t going to be for everybody, but it’s definitely effective enough to be worth considering.
Turn off the tap.
If your faucet is like most, it delivers water at a rate of around 2.5 gallons per minute. If everyone in your household is in the habit of leaving the tap running while they brush their teeth or wash their hands, that’s many gallons of water wasted each and every day. Turn the faucet off after you wet your hands or start brushing. Leave it off until it’s time to rinse.
Take shorter showers and fewer baths.
Another really simple way to save a large amount of water is to take a look at your bathing routine and make adjustments. Start by cutting down on the amount of time you spend in the shower. (Limit yourself to 10 minutes where possible.) You should also consider replacing any older showerheads with low-flow alternatives, as they use literally half the water, in most cases.
Last, but not least, make baths an occasional indulgence instead of a regular part of your routine. The average bath uses between 35 and 50 gallons of water while a standard 10-minute shower with a low-flow showerhead will use about 25 gallons instead.
Skip the occasional shower here and there.
Speaking of showers now might be a good time to consider whether or not you really need all the showers you’re taking. Do you actually need to shower multiple times a day? For that matter, do you really need to shower every day? If you can see your way clear to skipping even one or two showers a week, you’ll be saving quite a bit of water.
Improve your dishwashing routine.
If your household is like most, your dishwashing routine could use a little improvement when it comes to water conservation. Wait to run your dishwasher until it’s completely full. All of those half-loads can add up to many, many gallons of water squandered every year.
Doing dishes by hand today? Instead of letting the tap run and run while you’re scrubbing away, fill the entire sink up with water first instead.
Upgrade your appliances and fixtures.
Even if you changed none of your usage habits, you could save many gallons of water every year just by using water-efficient fixtures. Consider switching to low-flow showerheads and toilets throughout your home. Upgrade your dishwasher to a Water Sense-rated model and install new faucets that allow for aeration. It won’t be long before you see the difference in your water bill.
Rethink your landscaping choices.
Lawns are notorious water guzzlers, so the smaller yours happens to be, the better. That said, the best lawn for water conservation is no lawn at all. However, if that’s not an option for you, consider switching to a drought-resistant landscape filled with succulents, water-saving groundcover, and other options that help keep water usage to a bare minimum.
Of course, if you do have a lawn or a garden, it will need to be watered sometimes. Water yours in the morning instead of the afternoon. Cooler temperatures mean less water lost to evaporation.
Cut down on the amount of power you use.
You can do an even better job of conserving water by cutting back on the amount of electricity you use. Consider the fact that the average power plant requires many thousands of gallons of water in order to function properly. Using only what you need when it comes to power indirectly saves water as well. Plus, you’ll save even more money!
Your choices in appliances can really help you here as well. Look for options that bear the Energy Star seal of approval. You can also consider alternative energy solutions like solar panels if you’re really serious about cutting back on power use.
Deal with leaks and repairs promptly.
Got a leaky pipe or a dripping faucet you haven’t quite gotten around to dealing with yet? Whether you’re a do-it-yourself plumbing enthusiast or prefer to hire a professional, fix it sooner rather than later. Even a minor leak can add up to a lot of wasted water over time.
You should also get into the habit of keeping a close eye on your water bill. A sudden unexplained spike can often be indicative of a leak that’s been sprung somewhere not immediately obvious. Have a plumber come in and check your lines as soon as you can.
Of course, these are just a few of the many ways you and your household can do your part to conserve more water in the future. Don’t be afraid to put your heads together as a family and come up with even more ways to save!
Disclaimer: All images are provided by the author.
About The Author:
Phil is originally from California, where the need for water filtration equipment is vast. After college, he dove into the growing problem of clean water both nationally and worldwide. After many years in the industry, he found WaterFiltersFAST.com and aligned his knowledge of the industry with theirs to help educate and inform consumers. He is also an avid outdoorsman and tech enthusiast. An oxymoron for sure, but he makes it work.