Water Conservation

Outdoors

  • Water only when needed. Look at the grass, feel the soil, or use a soil moisture meter to determine when to water.
  • Do not over-water. Water needs vary greatly by season, grass species and amount of shade, so keeping the same settings year-round will result in over-watering.
  • Water lawns early in the morning during the hotter summer months.
  • To avoid excessive evaporation, use a sprinkler that produces large drops of water, rather than a fine mist. Sprinklers that send droplets out on a low angle also help control evaporation.
  • Set automatic sprinkler systems to provide thorough but infrequent watering. Pressure-regulating devices should be set to design specifications. Rain shut-off devices can prevent watering in the rain.
  • Use drip-irrigation systems for bedded plants, trees and shrubs, or turn the flat, green soaking hoses upside down so the holes are on the bottom. This will help prevent evaporation.
  • Don’t water streets, sidewalks or driveways. They will never grow a thing.
  • Plant native plants and use low-water landscaping to use less water
  • Sweep decks and patios versus hosing them down

In the Bathroom

  • Take short showers and install a cut-off valve, or turn the water off while washing and back on again to rinse.
  • Take a shower versus a bath. Showers with high-efficiency showerheads often use less water than taking a bath.
  • Reduce the level of the water being used in a bathtub by one or two inches if a shower is not available.
  • When building a new home or remodeling a bathroom, install a new, dual-flush toilet that uses only 0.8 or 1.6 gallons per flush.
  • Test toilets for leaks. Add a few drops of food coloring or a dye tablet to the water in the tank, but do not flush the toilet. Watch to see if the coloring appears in the bowl with a few minutes. If it does, the toilet has a silent leak that needs to be repaired.
  • When brushing teeth, turn the water off until it is time to rinse.
  • Do not let the water run when washing hands. Water should be turned off while washing and scrubbing and be turned on again to rinse. A cut-off valve may be installed on the faucet.
  • When shaving, fill the lavatory basin with hot water instead of letting the water run continuously.
  • Install a low-flow shower head that limits the flow from the shower to less than 3 gallons per minute.

In the Kitchen

  • Scrape the dishes clean instead of rinsing them before washing. There is no need to rinse unless they are heavily soiled.
  • Use a pan of water (or place a stopper in the sink) for washing and rinsing pots, pans, dishes and cooking implements rather than turning on the water faucet each time a rinse is needed.
  • Never run the dishwasher without a full load. This practice will save water, energy, detergent and money.
  • Use the garbage disposal sparingly or start a compost pile.
  • Keep a container of drinking water in the refrigerator. Running water from the tap until it is cool is wasteful.
  • Use a small pan of cold water when cleaning vegetables rather than letting the water run over them.
  • Use only a little water in the pot and put a lid on it for cooking most food. Not only does this method save water, but food is more nutritious since vitamins and minerals are not poured down the drain with the extra cooking water.

In the Laundry

  • Wash only a full load when using an automatic washing machine (32-59 gallons are required per load).
  • Whenever possible, use the lowest water-level setting for light or partial loads.
  • Use cold water as often as possible to save energy and to conserve the hot water for uses that cold water cannot serve. (This is also better for clothing made of today’s synthetic fabrics.)

For Appliances and Plumbing

  • Check water requirements of various models and brands when considering purchasing any new appliances. Some use less water than others.
  • Check all water line connections and faucets for leaks. A slow drip can waste as much as 170 gallons of water each day, or 5,000 gallons per month and will add to the water bill.
  • Learn to repair faucets so that drips can be corrected promptly. It is easy to do, costs very little and can mean a substantial savings in plumbing and water bills.
  • Check for hidden water leakage such as a leak between the water meter and the house. To check, turn off all indoor and outdoor faucets and water-using appliances. The water meter should be read at 10- to 20-minute intervals. If it continues to run or turn, a leak probably exists and needs to be located and repaired.
  • Insulate all hot water pipes to reduce the delays (and wasted water) experienced while waiting for the water to become hot.
  • Be sure the water heater thermostat is not set too high. Extremely hot settings waste water and energy because the water often has to be cooled with cold water before it can be used.

[adapted from: Water-Saving Tips]

See CouponChief’s Ultimate Guide to Cheap Green Living for more conservation tips including…

Stop buying bottled water.

According to Ban the Bottle, Americans used 50 billion bottles of water last year, but only recycled around 23 percent. That means around 38 billion plastic bottles ended up in landfills. You can save money- and the planet – by carrying a reusable water bottle and refilling it over and over. If you don’t like the taste of tap water, try filtering your own water with a filtered water pitcher at home.

Save and reuse water.

If you waste water in the shower or your kitchen, you can attempt to save water overages and use them in your home garden. At the very least, invest in a rainwater barrel and use water runoff to water your indoor and outdoor plants.

Switch to low-flow showerheads.

Low-flow showerheads use a lot less water than their flow-heavy counterparts. If you want to conserve water and reduce your water bill over time, investing in an expensive low-flow showerhead is a smart move.