According to the United States Geological Survey (USGS), America uses 332 billion gallons of water per day. Since freshwater is a limited resource and droughts are a problem in many regions of the country, it’s important to do what you can at home to conserve water.
How Can People Conserve Water at Home
Here are several water-saving tips you can use inside and outside your home.
Ways to Conserve Water Inside the Home
- Steam your vegetables — Instead of boiling your veggies, try steaming them. It only requires an inch or two of water rather than filling up an entire pot. Plus, steaming vegetables helps retain nutrients much better than boiling them.
- Use your dishwater properly — Use a dishwasher instead of handwashing because handwashing can use as much as 27 gallons of water per load. In comparison, an energy-efficient dishwasher uses only around three gallons. Make sure to only run your dishwasher with a full load on the short cycle setting.
- Reuse cooking water — Don’t throw out your water when you’re done cooking with it. Instead, use it for your next batch of food or water your plants with it.
- Check for leaks — According to the EPA, an average household’s leaks can waste roughly 10,000 gallons of water annually. Check for water leaks in your bathroom or other areas of your home to ensure you’re not wasting water.
- Turn off the faucet while performing tasks — Whether shaving, brushing your teeth, or cleaning the sink, turning off the tap while doing these tasks can go a long way. The EPA reports that letting your faucet run for five minutes can waste 10 gallons of water.
- Replace old aerators — Per the EPA, replacing old aerators on your faucets with WaterSense labeled models can save you an average of 700 gallons of water annually.
- Install low-flow showerheads — The EPA states that installing a low-flow showerhead with a WaterSense label could save you an average of 2,700 gallons of water a year.
- Run full loads — Be sure to only run full loads in your washing machine instead of half loads to help conserve water.
- Replace your old washing machine — Consider replacing your old washing machine with an ENERGY STAR-certified product. These washing machines use about 25% less energy and 33% less water than traditional washers.
- Reuse towels before washing — Reusing bath and hand towels two to three times before washing them can help you conserve water.
Ways to Conserve Water Outside the Home
- Use a rain barrel — Collect rainwater by installing a barrel underneath your downspout, then use this water to water your plants or wash your car. In fact, some states, such as Texas and Arizona, offer incentives for installing rainwater harvesting equipment outside your home.
- Add mulch to your lawn — Mulch keeps sunlight from reaching your soil, minimizing evaporation and moderating soil temperature. According to The Water Conservancy, mulch can reduce evaporation from soil by up to 70%, helping you conserve water.
- Use drought-tolerant plants — Keeping your landscape flourishing in drought-ridden areas such as California can be challenging. That’s why you should consider growing drought-tolerant plants such as aloe and geranium. You’ll save time and water maintaining your garden with these types of plants.
- Maintain your irrigation system — If you have an in-ground irrigation system, regularly check it for leaks. According to the EPA, a leak in your irrigation system that’s 1/32nd of an inch in diameter can waste around 6,300 gallons of water monthly. Also, check your garden hose for leaks. If it does, replace the washer and ensure a tight connection to the spigot with a wrench and pipe tape.
- Use a broom to clean driveways and sidewalks — Instead of using a hose or pressure washer, grab a broom and sweep up your driveway or sidewalk. According to the Saskatchewan Environmental Society, you can save around 200 liters of water by opting for a broom.
Why Is It Important to Conserve Water?
Water is one of the essential components of life. We need it for drinking, cooking, bathing, cleaning, growing food, and several other activities. Water also helps protect our ecosystem and wildfire. While water covers about 70% of Earth’s surface, the majority is salt water, and less than 1% of the planet’s freshwater is accessible. Water is a limited resource, so we need to make conservation efforts.
It’s especially important to conserve water during drought season. Water plays a vital role in growing crops and raising livestock for food, both in the United States and countries where we import supplies. If you live in a drought-prone state such as California, Arizona, Nevada, or Texas, make sure you’re doing your part to help conserve water.
Droughts and wildfires also go hand in hand, so it’s crucial to have an emergency plan in place to protect you and your family. For extra peace in mind, consider getting homeowners insurance from Mercury. We provide reliable coverage at an affordable rate to help you get back on your feet when disaster strikes.