How to Conserve Water when Living in a Drought

CalTrout.orgAs drought conditions continue in California and other western states, here are some helpful tips that can help you conserve water.

Take Shorter or Fewer Showers

Did you know that on average 2.5 gallons of water are used every minute when taking a shower. If you take a 10 minute shower that is 12.5 gallons of water.  Add that up with all the family members and were are talking gallons of water being used on showers.  In order to conserve some of this water, try taking a 5-7 minute shower reducing gallons of water being used daily.  Another option is to take fewer showers per week.  Some countries believe that too much showering can actually dry out skin and in dry weather areas where the drought is impacting, keeping your skin soft could be an added advantage.

Check your Sprinkler System

Drought conditions usually mean restrictions on your watering schedule.  Along with these restrictions and setting your timers accordingly, it is good to walk your irrigation system and check to see if all the components are working properly. Drip components could be broken and spraying excess water which are so easy to fix by simply replacing the head of the drip line.  This will also help to conserve water and keep many of your plants alive.

Plant Drought Resistant Plants

Another way to save water on your landscape is to plant drought resistant plants. These types of plants do not need a lot of water and can actually go a very long time without water.  This will be good to maximize your use of water and more than likely will save some of your plants, as plants that need a lot of water may not survive the drought situation.

Load up in your Washer

It can take 10 – 30 gallons of water to run one load of wash in your washing machine.  The drastic difference in the quantity of gallons is based on newer, more high efficiency machines. Adding as full a load of laundry as possible or waiting until you have enough clothes to maximize the use of your washing machine, will help save gallons of water in your efforts to conserve water.

Load up the Dishwasher

Same goes for the dishwasher.  If you can load of the dishwasher, which take 15 gallons to run, will help in your efforts for water conservation.  If this is not enough water to save, it might be time to do your dishes by hand.  You can save on water adjusting to the good old fashioned way of cleaning your dishes.

Check for Leaks

Drought conditions are a good motivator for checking leaks around your house.  Faucets, shower heads, toilets, and outdoor hoses can all have leaks associate with them.  Changing our faucets and shower heads that leak is an option, or just check some of the washers or your handles might solve the problem. This is a great time to perform a few home maintenance tasks that provides benefit to your bottom line.

Turn off the Running Water

When washing dishes, try turning off the water between washing and rinsing. What about brushing your teeth?  Same thing, between cleaning and rinsing turn off the water to save gallons of water a week.  If washing your car at home, turn off the hose between washing the car and rinsing the car to conserve water.  Do you see a growing trend here?  Wash on, turn off, rinse off, repeat.

These are just a few tips on helping you conserve water.  Ever gallon saved can go a long way during low flow conditions.