“Water is life’s mater and matrix, mother and medium. There is no life without water.”
The cost of water is getting more and more expensive. The water rates that your Town or City Council are charging are becoming a major expense. Water is no longer cheap and expendable, we need to conserve every drop. Be frugal with the water and you will be surprised how much money you will save.
We should all be very thankful for the clean water that we get by just turning a tap. “Each year between two and ﬁve million people worldwide die from lack of safe water and sanitation,” said David Douglas President of Water Advocates.
Today we often take the use of water for granted, but if we are wasteful or not mindful of how we use it, it can become rather expensive. If you had to rely on the rain for water you would learn very quickly not to waste it.
Here are some of the suggestions for saving water:
1. Have a short shower. Keep you shower between 5-10 minutes. That is plenty of time to cleanse and shampoo, etc. If possible, wash your hair only twice a week, as it is better for your hair, although shampoo companies would argue that fact. Use only a small amount of shampoo, a teaspoon size. The same goes for the conditioner. If you shorten your once per day shower by 2 minutes, you will save 150 to 300 gallons of water per month, depending on the ﬂow of your shower-head.
2. Install low-ﬂow shower heads and faucet aerator. efficient shower heads can cut water use by 50% compared to conventional ﬁxtures.
If your bathroom was designed before 1992, your shower heads probably put out 5 gallons of water a minute (GPM). Multiply this by the number of minutes you’re in the shower and you can calculate you water usage. After 1992, shower heads were required to put out no more than 2.5 gallons of water per minute. You can even ﬁnd adjustable shower heads that put out as little as 1 gallon of water per minute.
The average person uses a shower for 10 minutes per day, so switching to a low ﬂow shower head (2.5 GPM from a 5 GPM) can save a family of four over 36,000 gallons of water per year.
3. Save water… shower with a friend, but make it a quick one.
4. Do not ﬁll your electric kettle with hot water thinking that you would be saving power. It cost more to heat the hot water system than it does to boil the electric kettle filled with cold water.
Only put enough water in the electric kettle that you intend to use.
6. Depending on the size of your family, have only one day a week as your clothes-washing day.
7. If you go to the gym or there are shower facilities at your work, shower there, as it will save you water and power. The gym is likely to have hair dryers as well.
8. If it rains, turn off your automatic garden sprinkler system. This will reduce the water bill. Also, make sure that the sprinklers are not watering the foot path, the house, or driveway. Watering areas that don’t need to be watered is wasteful.
9. If it is still raining and you are at home, leave a couple of buckets out to ﬁll with water. Use the water for pot plants that are not situated in the rain.
10. Instead of buying bottles of water, which is an expensive way to have drinking water, get a tap ﬁlter or a ﬁlter water jug to ﬁlter tap water. They are excellent options and do a great job. They produce great drinking water which is excellent for cooking, coffee, tea, etc.
11. If you like to drink your water cold, keep a pitcher of water in the fridge so that you are not continually going to the tap for water. This way you don’t lose excess water down the drain while you’re running it to get cooler water.
12. Turn off the tap while brushing your teeth. Letting the water run while brushing your teeth wastes approximately 3 gallons per day.
13. That goes for shaving too. Shut the water off while shaving or switch to an electric shaver—zero water use required.
14. When you are washing the dishes by hand, don’t allow the water to run while rinsing. Fill the other sink with the rinsing water.
15. When your fridge gets full of ice cubes, like mine always does, empty the container in the garden or around the houseplants. It’s a good way to water.
16. When you are washing dirty pots or pans, soak them rather than clean them under running water.
17. Put ground covering plants or small shrubs on steep slopes to hold any water that may leach down the hill.
18. Composting will save a lot of water as well. When you compost around plants it keeps the water in the ground and dehydration is not a problem. Also it keeps the weeds away that will also suck up the water.
19. Keep an eye on the amount of water you’re being charged for on your water bill. This will give you an indication if there is a leak in your system.
20. Wash produce in a bowl rather than under running water.
21. Water your plants and lawn in the morning or evening when the evaporation is minimized.
22. Drip irrigation is very good for plants and shrubs rather than a sprinkler.
23. On windy days it may pay to turn the sprinkler and hose off, as watering areas that don’t need to be watered is a major waste of water.
24. Check your sprinkler system frequently in case sprinkler heads have popped off and hoses come
apart from their attachments.
25. When you winterize your pool, check for leaks. Put a pencil mark at the waterline and if the water drops significantly, you may have a leak.
26. If you have runoff from watering your lawns or gardens you could lessen the pressure of the water or have it run at smaller intervals to let the water soak in a little before more is added. Also, check the level of moisture in the ground. If the moisture is at least 2-3 inches from the top, then that is enough watering.
27. Don’t mow your lawns too low. If you keep your lawns longer in height it will keep the moisture in the ground and keep your grass greener.
28. When you are cleaning out a ﬁsh tank or anything similar, keep the water for your plants, especially your potted plants. Besides watering, this makes an excellent fertilizer.
29. Don’t thaw your food with running water. Defrost it in the fridge or microwave.
30. Make sure your children are aware of water conservation.
31. When you are doing a small load of laundry, make sure that your machine water level is set for a small load and not a high or medium load.
32. Commercial car washes recycle water, so I suggest you take your car or bike there rather than do it at home. If you do it at home and it hasn’t rained in a while, park your car on the lawn and let the water feed the grass rather than the concrete driveway.
33. If you have to replace a plant or a shrub, choose one that is comfortable with your climate for all year round color. Make sure it’s a low water use plant. It can save you up to 500 gallons a year.
34. Don’t prune lower leaves and branches off the trees in the summer Leave the foliage that drops from the tree as it keeps the ground cooler, keeps the moisture in, and the tree loves it.
35. The same goes for lawns. Choose a lawn that is compatible with your climate. It makes it easy to grow and a lot less watering.
36. If the kids want to play in water and you don’t have a pool, let them use the sprinkler on the lawn. They will have fun.
37. That goes for the pets. Wash them on the lawn.
38. The young children can bathe together rather than separately if you don’t have a shower.
39. Some city councils will not allow this, but if it is permissible have your “Grey” water redirected to your trees and shrubs.
40. If your city council will allow it and you have an eaves trough, collect the rainwater at the downspout. You can buy a small water tank and have the water run into it. Use this water for watering plants and gardens. You can even use it for drinking with a water collection system that has ﬁlters.