It doesn’t have to come to that. Small decisions throughout the day equate to gallons of wasted water. It’s easy to leave the water running while you do dishes or spend the extra 5 minutes in the shower, but those choices further escalate the problem. You don’t have to solve the water crisis on you own, but small measures can go a long way toward shrinking your water consumption.
One the most common and least productive wastes of water is a leaky pipe. U.S. News reports that the average household can leak more than 10,000 gallons of water per year. The biggest culprit is the toilet, where leaks are more common because of frequent use. You’ll usually hear it if your toilet isn’t working properly. If it runs when it’s not in use, check the valves and inner parts. A plumber will be able to spot less obvious leaks. A worn-out pipe or broken o-ring could be adding gallons to your water bill. Have your pipes examined annually to prevent more serious problems.
SMALL LAUNDRY LOADS
That new shirt you love is dirty, but you’re dying to wear it out tonight. The simple answer is to throw it in the wash whether or not you can fill an entire load. Follow this pattern too many times, however, and you’ll see your water bill start to creep up. Not only will a little laundry self-control save you money, it will also save water. Stick to a laundry schedule, and wait until you have a full load to wash. If you just need that shirt, ask your relatives or roommates if they need anything washed.
When we waste one thing, we don’t think of the possibility that we’re wasting another. Wasting food has a documented ripple effect, however, and it’s especially important for Arizona residents. NPR reports that the 1.3 billion tons of food wasted every year equates to 45 trillion gallons of water. That’s nearly a quarter of all water used for agriculture. If the world stopped wasting food, the water crisis would be over.
Do your part to make use of all resources at your disposal.
It’s a luxury that many around the world don’t have, but showers constantly contribute to our water crisis. The average 4-minute shower with an old head uses 20 gallons of water. Replace it with a low-flow shower head and you can cut that down to 10 gallons and by using a WaterSense showerhead, you could save even more. Everyone needs a long shower every now and then, but regular 20-minute sessions put an unnecessary strain on the environment.
OVERWATERING THE LAWN
In an effort to keep lawns green in the desert, some residents tend to overwater. Not only does it waste water, it can actually lessen healthy growth. If you have a stubborn brown patch, try reconfiguring your sprinkler layout rather than upping the water dosage.Learn more about how to check your irrigation system for efficiency and how to water just the right amount.