The 2007 Spring season in the Southeast region of the United States was the driest since the National Climactic Data Center began keeping records in 1895. We all remember the images of wildfires in the West ravaging dried forests last year. Cattle ranchers were selling their stock from lack of grass on the fields. Lake Okeechobee, America's second largest fresh water body was drying up. Things got so bad in Georgia by the end of the Summer that residents were organizing prayer gatherings to pray for rain fall.
There is no way of telling what this Spring and Summer might bring us, but if last year was any indication, we should start conserving water now.
There is a lot you can do around your home to conserve water. In the long-run, making these changes will also reduce your water and sewer bills.
Lets start with the bathroom:
- Replace your shower head with an efficient unit like this ONE. Go even further and add a switch to turn off the water while you soap up, see this ONE. If you want to get your family to conserve water, but the 5-minute shower timer HERE.
- Make sure you keep those showers under five minutes.
- Purchase a sink faucet aerator to reduce the amount of water coming out of each faucet in your home, must water just goes down the drain anyways.
- Place a milk jug filled with water in your toilet's tank. Most toilets use far more water than necessary.
- Check for leaky faucets and tighten them.
- Put Kleenex in the garbage rather than flushing them down the toilet each time you sneeze.
- Turn off the faucet while you brush.
- When washing dishes, don't let the water run. Fill the sink and turn the tap off.
- Save 1,000 gallons of water by ensuring your dishwasher and clothing washer are full before running them.
- Designate one glass per person as the "water glass" and re-use it for each drink of water. You'll use less glasses and run the dishwasher less. Keep water in a pitcher in the fridge for a cold drink. This way, all the water ends up in you and none down the drain.
- Tighten any leaky faucets.
- Check your sprinklers frequently to ensure they are hitting the grass, not the wall or sidewalk. Water your lawn in the early morning hours.
- Install covers on pools and spas to avoid evaporation.
- Save 80 gallons of water every time you clean the driveway or sidewalk by using a broom or blower rather than the hose.
- Run your sprinklers for shorter periods of time twice a day rather than longer periods once a day. Your yard will only absorb so much and the rest just runs off into the sewer.
- Only water your lawn when its necessary. Check by stepping on the grass, if it doesn't stand back up, it needs water.
- Run your lawn mower blades on a higher setting. Longer grass creates shade for the root system so it can stay moist longer.
- Use a commercial car wash that recycles the water rather than washing your car at home. Or wash your car on the grass.