Over the last several years, interest in water conservation has
increased, particularly in the western U.S. where drought conditions
persist. In fact, many communities now have policies about water usage
and some charge more based on increasing consumption.
There are many reasons for conserving water, even if you don’t live in
an area that encourages it.
Here are three of the most compelling:
1. Conservation is the right thing to do. Everyone needs water to
survive. Simply put, we have an obligation to share this vital
resource and not waste it.
2. We have more people, but not more water. The amount of water
on Earth remains the same while population soars. We can take
steps now or we can be forced into them down the road.
3. It will save money. The less water you use, the less you have to
pay, and the more money you’ll have for other things.
Fortunately, saving water doesn’t have to be difficult.
Things You Can Do for Free
Here are some things you can do that don’t cost a dime:
• Keep a pitcher of water in the refrigerator rather
than running the tap until the water gets cold.
This also helps eliminate the “chlorine smell”
because the disinfectant dissipates (the smell
and taste go away).
• Don’t let the water run while brushing teeth or
shaving. On average, you will save more than
five gallons of water each time.
• Take shorter showers. A quick shower rather
than a bath can save an average of 20 gallons
of water. The U.S. Environmental Protection
Agency recommends taking three-to five-minute
• Use both sides of the sink when washing
dishes: one side to wash and the other to rinse.
Don’t wash dishes with the water running.
• Garbage disposals use approximately 11.5
gallons of water per day. Try composting
organic wastes instead.
• Use the dishwasher and washer only when you
have full loads.
• When cleaning a fish tank, use the drained
water on plants. The water is rich in nitrogen
and phosphorus, a healthy treat for plants.
• Direct downspouts and other runoff toward
shrubs, trees, and flower gardens. Because roof
shingles typically have copper or zinc granules
in them to prevent staining by algae, you may
not want this water in a vegetable garden.
• Use a broom instead of a hose to clean sidewalks