Thursday, April 12, 2012
April is Water Conservation Month!
It’s Water Conservation Month and lots of wonderful ideas are being floated for saving water. In some areas of the U.S., April is one of the highest water demand months while also being the driest, such as in South Florida and other southern regions. It’s easy to implement several water-saving activities into daily living that will lower your overall water consumption. These ideas are pretty non-intrusive and will save you a pretty penny on your water bill. More importantly, maybe you’ll find that they’re easy enough to do that you might just find yourself forming good water conservation habits.
By far the easiest way to conserve water is to turn off the faucet when you’re not using the water. Washing dishes, brushing teeth, and handwashing are common examples.
Studies comparing faucet and showerhead fixtures from pre-1992 show just how much a small upgrade can help. In table 1 below, from Consulting Specifying Engineer Mag, they show us just how much more efficient modern fixtures can be.
Showerheads and faucets are a great place to start. To reduce your water use with showerheads and faucets, you can start with a faucet aerator if you don’t want to replace fixtures. Aerators spread the water out from one continuous stream to many streams, which reduces the overall amount of water flow and reduces splashing.
A trick to reduce the amount of water used when flushing your toilet, remove the lid behind, find 20oz or so plastic bottle and fill it with a couple inches of sand. Place this bottle inside the toilet tank (be sure to keep it on the side opposite the operating parts). Maintain a balance of about three gallons of water in the tank though so it keeps working. If you do this little bottle trick, you will reduce your overall water use by several gallons a day.
For those who live in especially arrid environments or just want to go hardcore, simply reuse water! You can find a number of tips from Water Reuse.org.
For example, when washing dishes by hand and you have a sink with two basins, fill one up with soapy water and one with clean water. If you don’t have a double-basin sink, fill up two large bowls: one for washing, one for rinsing. You don’t need to continuously run the water while you’re washing. If you find that, at the end of dinner, you haven’t finished your glass of water, use it to refill the dog’s water bowl or water inside plants.
Turn off water when you’re not using it. If you’re washing your face or brushing your teeth or shaving, it can be easy to forget to turn off the water. You may not think it’s that much water loss, but several family members running the faucet during those activities can actually add up to quite a bit of unnecessary water loss.
It’s always a good idea to build better habits and Water Conservation Month is a wonderful time to start!