Many people in industrialized nations have grown up taking water for granted. You are used to turning on the taps, and having water there. It is only during those times when the water is turned off, that you realize how much you rely on water. You use it for all your needs from bathing, brushing your teeth, to laundry and dishes.
Unfortunately, water is a finite resource. Although it covers most of the earth’s surface, 97% is salt water and only 3% is in the form of fresh water. Of this 3%, only 1% is available for drinking as the other 2% is frozen in glaciers. To make it worse, fresh water is now being used up more quickly than it can be replenished, especially as the population grows and the climate warms. This is a problem when you consider that the human body cannot go more than two to three days without water. That is why water conservation becomes very important, and there are things that you can do to reduce how much you use. Most important, is that you begin teaching your children how to save water too as they need to ensure that the generations of tomorrow will always have adequate supplies of fresh water.
Here are some easy ways to reduce your water usage:
1. Don’t let the tap run
You should not let the tap run while you are brushing your teeth and performing other personal care tasks (shaving, for example) as that results in a lot of wasted water.
In addition, do not run the tap while you wash fruits and vegetables. Instead, you can fill a bowl with water and wash them in there. Then you can use this leftover water to water your plants.
Instead of running water and waiting for it to get cold, fill a glass bottle with water and keep it in the refrigerator so it is always cold.
Do not let the water run from the tap as you pre-rinse your dishes before putting them in the dishwasher. Instead, scrape them off into the garbage or compost pail, or rinse them in a small amount of water that is sitting in the sink.
2. Shower more than using your bathtub
Showering saves much more water, especially if you can keep your shower under five minutes long. You can also buy showerheads that conserve even more water. Check with the water company in your city to find out if they offer any incentives for the purchase of showerheads (or toilets) that use less water.
If, however, you do plan to take a bath sometimes, make sure that you put the plug in the drain before you begin to run the water. This will ensure that water does not get wasted by going down the drain. You can then adjust the temperature as the water runs into the bathtub. Furthermore, use the least amount of water needed to have your bath.
3. Capture rainwater for your plants
Collect the water that comes out of your eavestroughs and downspouts, and use it to water your plants.
4. Water your lawn in the evenings or early morning
The worst time to water your lawn is in the middle of the day when the sun is out and it is hot, as most of the water evaporates before it can be absorbed by your lawn. There is also no need to water your lawn every day.
Another tip is to place the sump pump hose on your front lawn so that the water that is pumped out, can be used to water your lawn too. You can get an extension for the hose if needed to reach certain areas.
Some people will replace their lawns with shrubs and rock gardens, which is another way to eliminate the need to water the lawn at all.
5. Do not use a water hose
If you plan to handwash your car, do not use a hose as this results in a lot of wasted water. Instead, fill a bucket with water or you can even use the rainwater that you capture. The same goes for watering your garden or flowers. Use rainwater in a watering can.
6. Only wash full loads
Only start your dishwasher when it is full. Likewise, only wash full loads of laundry. Some appliances, such as dishwashers, also have eco settings that allow you to use less water.