Water is a precious resource in many parts of the country, worth treating with care. In many regions, it is also increasingly expensive. These measures can help cut your water consumption.
1. Check your faucets periodically for drips — a single leaking faucet can waste thousands of gallons of water a year.
2. Taking showers rather than baths is the simplest way to conserve water and energy: A 3-minute shower uses one fourth the water of a bath. A low-flow showerhead can achieve even greater savings. Older showerheads spray out 5 gallons or more every minute. Newer models can cut that usage to 2.5 gallons per minute or less, which can save even a two-person household more than 10,000 gallons a year. Installing a new showerhead is a simple do-it-yourself job.
3. A showerhead with an on-off lever lets you turn the water off temporarily without changing the temperature setting. You don’t need the water running while you soap yourself up or wash your hair.
4. Low-flow toilets, which are now required in all new construction, use 1.6 gallons per flush versus 3.5 gallons for older models. By placing a plastic soda bottle full of water in the tank of an older toilet you can cut the amount of water per flush without the trouble and expense of replacing the toilet.
5. Landscape with native plants or plants from similar climates, cluster thirsty plants, and use soaker hoses, microsprinklers, and timers to reduce water consumption.
6. Turn off the water while you shave or brush your teeth. Don’t leave the tap running when you don’t need it.
7. When you handwash dishes, rinse in a basin of clear water, not under a running tap.