Ways to conserve water during drought
If you live in a drought-prone area, water restrictions aren’t new to you. Always follow your state and local guidelines when it comes to water usage, but if you’re looking for more ways to cut consumption and save planet Earth, follow these guidelines from highly rated companies:
Preserving water indoors
• Limit shower time and avoid baths
Sonny Friedman, owner of Atlas Plumbing Company in Dallas, says in hot areas like where he lives, it’s not unusual for someone to take a couple of showers a day. However, in times of need, you may want to cut back and take shorter showers. You should also think twice before drawing a bath, which wastes a lot of water.
• Turn off the faucets while shaving or brushing your teeth
Friedman suggests keeping a bowl of water next to the sink to swish your razor in, rather than running it under warm water.
• Check your toilet for leaks
Wayne Pierce, tech manager at Legacy Plumbing in Frisco, Texas, says you can check your toilet for leaks by putting a couple drops of food coloring in the tank. Allow it to sit for 30 minutes, and then if the bowl has any coloring in it, you need to call a plumber.
• Catch excess water
FEMA recommends placing a bucket in your shower to catch excess water. This can be used for watering your plants or other household chores.
• Dispose of food scraps in trash can instead of garbage disposal
To use it properly, Friedman says you should be running cold water while feeding your garbage disposal. Putting your food waste in the trash bin or a compost pile helps eliminate water waste.
• Fix leaky faucets
According to Pierce, a drip of water per second could add up to 3,000 gallons of water wasted per year.
• Operate dishwashers only when fully loaded
FEMA also suggests filling two containers with water to wash dishes by hand: one with soapy water and the other with rinse water.
Preserving water outdoors
• Use a hose to water your foundation
During a drought, shifting soil can cause your foundation to crack. If you don’t water it, you’ll have problems. Friedman says you can use less by watering the soil around your foundation with a hose instead of a sprinkler.
• Use irrigation systems
Rumaldo Flores, owner of Flores Artscape in Los Angeles, says irrigation systems are much more water efficient than sprinklers that gush water everywhere.
• Water in short intervals
Ideally, you own drought-tolerant plants if you live in a dry area. However, if you need to water, Flores recommends doing so in short intervals to avoid runoff. So, if you have 15 minutes to water your yard, he recommends breaking it up into three five-minute sessions.
• Avoid watering the whole lawn the same way
Flores says you should adjust the amount of water you use according to your yard’s setup. Shady areas don’t need as much water as sunny patches.