It’s hard to imagine running out of water, but it could happen. Between 1950 and 2000, the population in the United States doubled while public demand for water more than tripled. The extra stress on water supplies and distribution systems threatens our health as well as the environment. The good news is there are plenty of small things you can do to conserve water and help avert future water shortages.
Every Drop Counts
If you ever wonder whether the small changes you make really matter, consider this: each of us uses an average of 100 gallons of water per day – enough to fill 1,600 drinking glasses! Just think how much you water you can conserve if your whole family becomes more water wary. Here are some easy ways:
- Cook Smart. Peel and clean vegetables in a bowl of water instead of under running water.
- Slow the Flow. Install a slow-flow faucet to reduce water consumption up to 50 percent.
- Shorten Showers. Take short showers instead of baths, and consider using a shower timer. To make it fun for kids, turn it into a game to see who can get the most “squeaky clean” in less than three minutes!
- Test Your Tank. Add 12 drops of food coloring to your toilet tank and wait an hour. Look to see if any color seeped through the tank, a fitting or into the toilet bowl. If so, you may have a leak.
- Let It Grow. Raise your lawnmower blade; taller grass holds soil moisture better.
- Sweep Up. Clean the driveway and sidewalk with a broom instead of a hose to save hundreds of gallons of water.
- Speak Up. When you see an open hydrant, malfunctioning sprinkler or broken pipe, tell the property owner or the Lamont Public Utility District.
- Look for Leaks. Read your water meter before and after a two-hour period when no water is used. If it doesn’t read exactly the same, you have a leak.
- Tap Out. Instead of letting the tap run until water gets cold, keep a pitcher of drinking water in the refrigerator, and use it to refill certified reusable water bottles instead of opting for single-use plastic ones.
- Tap In. Place a bucket in your shower to capture the water that runs while you’re waiting for it to get hot. Use the water to water plants.
- Watch for WaterSense. When you shop for plumbing fixtures, look for the Environmental Protection Agency’s WaterSense label, which means they meet strict criteria for efficiency and performance.3 Click here to learn more.
- Go to the carwash. Most car washes recycle their water (re-used) so the total amount of freshwater used is reduced.