Conserving water saves money and lessens our impact on the environment. Pumping and treating water requires energy. In California, 6.5 percent of the energy used in the state is for pumping and treating water.
Here are some suggestions for changes we can all make that can save thousands of gallons of water a year.
- Limit showers to five minutes and save up to 12,000 gallons of water a year.
- Use a nozzle on your garden hose. An unrestricted hose flows at a rate of 12 gallons per minute. A nozzle restricts the flow of water.
- The biggest water user in your home is your toilet. Install water-efficient toilets and save 15,000 gallons of water a year.
- If you’re thinking of buying a new washing machine, consider a front-loading washer. They use 35-50 percent less water than standard models.
- Install a high-efficiency shower head. They keep water pressure high but can cut water use by up to 50 percent.
- If you wash fruits and vegetables under running water, use a bowl instead. It saves water.
- Water lawns before sunrise or after sunset to minimize evaporation.
- Dish washers and clothes washers should be run only when full. It could save up to 1,000 gallons of water a month.
- Faucet leaks are huge water wasters. Fixing leaky faucets could save 140 gallons of water per week.
Reverse osmosis water treatment units are popular in many parts of the country and they’re big water wasters. They use up to 5 gallons of water for every gallon of purified water they produce.
Dispose of hazardous materials properly. One quart of oil can contaminate 250,000 gallons of water! Our city has a hazardous waste disposal day every few months when residents can take hazardous waste to a city disposal facility. Check the website for your town or city for information on hazardous waste disposal.
For years we were told to flush old prescription medications down the toilet. Now traces of all kinds of meds have been found in drinking water. Do not flush your old meds.
If you have a pool, check it regularly for leaks and consider using a pool cover. Here in Arizona, many of us couldn’t get through the sweltering summers without our pools, but they can waste a lot of water. Pools lose thousands of gallons of water a year through evaporation. Undetected leaks can waste even more water. So do what you can to conserve the water in your pool.
Even the smallest changes can make a significant impact on your water usage, so make a few changes today.