Water Conservation Tips
Additional water conservation information can be found at:
- Alliance for Water Efficiency
- EPA WaterSense
- CWCB Water Savings Table
- Conserve Water Utah
- Southern Nevada Water Authority Conservation Page
- Arizona Department of Water Resources Conservation Program
- New Mexico Water Conservation Program
Conserving water is a necessity in the West. The Rocky Mountain region is faced with a growing population and an arid climate, which puts stress on our limited water resources. When factoring in global climate change, there is no doubt that we must all take steps to save our precious water supplies.
While buying new, water-efficient appliances for your home and using xeriscape landscaping in your yard are highly effective in conserving water, there are other, quick, easy, and simple ways to make a difference in your household water use.
Here are 35 tips to conserve water, indoors and outdoors. Incorporate as many as you can into your daily activities, and not only will you see a reduction in water and electricity bills, but you'll know that you've saved hundreds -- or thousands - of gallons of water!
20 Ways to Conserve Water Outdoors
In most areas, the majority of residential water use occurs outdoors. Follow these tips to use water outside more efficiently.
- Plant native and drought resistant plants. There are many resources for Xeriscaping ™ online.
- Add an automatic timer and rain sensor to sprinkler systems to avoid watering when it's unnecessary.
- Water your lawn only when necessary. If blades of grass spring back when you step on them, then you do not need to water.
- Water lawns or gardens in the morning or in the evening when evaporation rates are lower.
- Plant in shaded areas. These cooler places in your yard have lower rates of water evaporation.
- Keep you lawn and garden free of weeds - they drink up water, too!
- Clean sidewalks and driveways with a broom instead of water.
- Keep pools or hot tubs covered to lessen evaporation.
- Use shutoff nozzles on hoses.
- When watering vegetation, use minimal water flow to avoid runoff onto sidewalks or watering areas that don't need water.
- Use good planting soil — it absorbs and holds moisture better and encourages plants to grow deep roots so they can access moisture even when topsoil is dry.
- Talk to your local gardening center about using appropriate soil amendments for your area.
- Use a barrel to collect rain or runoff from downspouts. Use the rainwater to water container plants and gardens. Some states prohibit rainwater harvesting, so check local laws first.
- Use organic mulches, such as pine straw, pine bark, and shredded hardwood. They help retain moisture and add nutrients to the soil as they decompose.
- Don't cut grass too short. Taller grass cools the soil and encourages deep roots, while short grass is more susceptible to heat
- Don't water your street, driveway or sidewaik! Position your sprinklers so that water lands on the lawn and shrubs not on paved areas.
- Consider using a commercial car wash that recycles water. If you wash your own car, park on the grass while washing.
- Water your lawn and garden for shorter periods to reduce runoff and allow for better absorption every time you water.
- Don't forget to check outdoor faucets and hoses for leaks!
- Xeriscape. Reduce large areas of grass with shrubs, rocks, or mulch.
15 Ways to Conserve Water Indoors
Follow these tips to reduce your water use indoors, and remember that when you save hot water you save money on your electric bill, too!
- Add aerators to faucets (buy them at home improvementstores). You'll get the same water pressure, but use less water.
- Bath or shower? It depends on how efficient your showerhead is. For non-efficient showerheads, taking a half-full bath saves more water than taking a 10 minute shower.
- Check your faucets for leaks and repair as necessary. Leaking faucets can waste over 100 gallons of water per week!
- A leaky toilet can waste 100 gallons of water a day! Get your leaky toilet fixed, or replace it with a high-efficiency one.
- Consider replacing appliances with high efficiency models that reduce water and energy use. You may be eligible for a rebate!
- Wash your produce in a basin of water; when finished, use the water for houseplants.
- Plug the bath tub before turning the water on; then adjust the temperature of bath water as the tub is filling up.
- Take shorter showers. Cutting a daily shower by 5 minutes can save over 200 gallons of water per month!
- Keep drinking water in the fridge instead of waiting for running water to get colder.
- Turn off the water while you brush your teeth or shave.
- Run the laundry machine or dishwasher only when full.
- Thaw food in the fridge instead of under running water.
- Install an instant water heater on your kitchen sink to avoid running the water until it heats up.
- Buy high-efficiency showerheads. You'll save money on your bills, and the showerhead will pay itself off in a year!
- Don't throw water down the drain. There's probably another use for it!