Saving water inside the home:
Turn off the lights when you are not in the room and cut the air conditioner back when you are not at home. Energy is produced using large volumes of water. Reducing energy demands can reduce the water needed to produce that energy.
In the KITCHEN
- Refrigerate a bottle or glass of water instead of letting a faucet flow until the water
- Prepare food efficiently. Speed cleaning food by using a vegetable brush. Spray
water in short bursts. Faucet aerators cut consumption.
- Defrost sensibly. Plan ahead to defrost foods overnight in the refrigerator. Don’t use running water. Use the microwave or put wrapped food in a bowl of cold water.
- Reduce dishwashing. Use rubber spatula to scrape dishes clean to limit pre-rinse. Let really dirty pans or dishes soak to speed washing. Most newer dishwashers don’t require pre-rinsing. Limit dishwasher use to full loads.
- Reuse clean household water. Collect all the water that is wasted while waiting for
the hot water to reach your faucet or showerhead. Use this to water your houseplants
or outdoor planters. Do the same with water that is used to boil eggs or steam
- Garbage disposal alternatives. Avoid using your garbage disposal. Compost
leftovers fruits and vegetables.
In the BATHROOM
- Don’t use the toilet as a trash can. Every flush you eliminate can save between two
and seven gallons of water.
- Use a glass for rinse water when brushing teeth instead of letting the faucet run.
Shave the same way. An electric razor also saves water.
- Fix leaking faucets and toilets. Research has shown that an average of 8 percent (or more) of all home water use is wasted through leaks. Test for a leaking toilet by lifting the lid off the toilet tank and putting a few drops of food coloring into the bowl. Wait a few minutes, then look in the bowl. If the food coloring has made its way there, you have a leak.
- Install a low-flow toilet. Low-flow toilets need only 1.6 gallons per flush, saving
thousands of gallons per year. Unlike earlier models, low flow toilets available today
receive high marks from consumers for overall performance.
- Conserve water in the tub. Take showers instead of a bath and save 30 gallons.
Filling the bathtub uses about 50 gallons of water. Try filling it just half way.
- Shorten your shower by one minute. Cut back on your shower time and you will
rack up big savings in water and energy. If you really want to try and save water, limit
your shower time to five minutes or less. Also, install a water-saving showerhead that uses two-and-a-half gallons per minute.
Information compiled by the Georgia Environmental Protection Division (www.gaepd.org) and collected from UGA College of Agriculture and Environmental Science (www.caes.uga.edu), the
Massachusetts Drought Management Task Force (www.mass.gov/dep/water), and EPA WaterSense Program (www.epa.gov/watersense)
In the LAUNDRY
- Wash only full loads of laundry. You’ll not only save water, but energy as well.
- Consider purchasing a new water- and energy- efficient clothes washer. Look for
the Energy Star labeled products and save more water in one year than a person drinks in a lifetime. These units create less wear and tear on clothes, clean better, and use less detergent. Some electric utilities offer rebates for qualified models. See
www.energystar.gov for more information.
For more tips visit www.ConserveWaterGeorgia.net. For more information about the drought and the current drought response, visit www.gaepd.org
Source: Georgia Environmental Protection Division
WaterSmart tips for outdoors
Avoid added plant stress.
a) Don’t fertilize if you can’t water it in. Fertilizer does little good unless it dissolves and enters the soil solution.
b) Avoid any sort of soil disturbance that injures roots and reduces their moisture uptake.
c) Avoid adding fill dirt over plant roots because roots need to breathe.
d) Mow grass higher than normal to avoid stressing it.
Reduce Demand for Water.
a) Cut back plants that wilt or show die back to reduce their need for water from the roots.
b) Many annuals and perennials can be cut back close to ground level during drought, then will
bounce back when rain begins.
Use other water sources.
a) Collect the water that drips from your air conditioning unit.
b) Collect rainwater in rain barrels at the bottom of your roof downspouts.
NOTE: Water from kitchen sinks and dishwashers, bathtubs, showers and lavatories, and the household
laundry are NOT allowed for reuse under plumbing and health codes
a) High value/must save – Give priority to valuable specimen trees or shrubs that would be impossible to replace.
b) Moderate value/try to save - perennials, newly planted trees, shrubs and groundcovers.
c) Low value/save if possible – annuals and turf grasses (these can be replaced and some turf grasses will bounce back successfully from a complete dry out.)
a) Cover the entire area under the plant from the trunk to the ends of the branches. This keeps the soil cool, combats weeds, conserves water, and creates more visual appeal than trying to grow grass in the area.
b) Good mulches to use are pine straw, pine bark mini-nuggets, bark chips or shredded hardwood mulch. Avoid using rock, gravel or marble in sunny areas because they absorb and radiate heat and increase moisture loss.
c) Enhance your mulch, by placing two to three sheets of saturated newspaper underneath it.
This will help the soil retain moisture.
A slight adjustment to your lawn mower can drastically increase lawn survival during a drought. Encourage deeper rooting by raising the mower blade during dry weather. Cutting the grass a little higher raises lawn survival rates and decreases water demand. Sharp blades also help
reduce the need for water because dull blades shred leaf tips, causing the turf to use more water than necessary.
Adjust your mower to a higher setting and mow more frequently. Consider leaving clippings on the lawn. Longer grass blades provide shade and help hold in moisture longer.
Keep off the grass. Avoid walking on grass during periods of drought stress. Mow lawns as little as possible during droughts to avoid additional stress, and cut at the highest possible setting. Never remove more than 1/3 of the leaf blade in one mowing. Allow mulched clippings to remain on the lawn to help cool the soil and retain moisture.
Aerate your lawn. Aeration improves the movement of water and nutrients into the soil, decreases run-off and encourages the roots of grass to grow deeply and to become drought tolerant.
For more waterSmart tips,