In response, here are my top 10 tips to conserve water:
- Put down the sponge
It may feel more virtuous to wash dishes by hand, but if you have a dishwasher, it’s wasteful. You use up to 27 gallons of water per load by hand versus as little as 3 gallons with an ENERGY STAR-rated dishwasher. And just scrape off the food scraps instead of rinsing each dish before you load it.
- Leave your car to the professionals
Letting the local car wash do the dirty work could save up to 100 gallons.
- Shower with a bucket
Yes, this one takes some getting used to. But if you love your plants, there is no better way to make sure they stay green.
- Trick out your toilet
Since the average person flushes five times a day, the gallons can really add up. Put a plastic bottle filled with water in your toilet tank to reduce the amount of water used per flush.
- That drip is more than just annoying
Tour your home, inside and out, in search of dripping faucets, showerheads, hoses, and sprinklers. Most faucet drips can be fixed simply by replacing a worn-out washer.
- Invest in that new high-efficiency appliance or fixture
Your utility company might offer rebates or other incentives when you buy new water-saving showerheads, faucets, clothes washers, or toilets. And even if it doesn’t, you’ll still wind up saving tons of money in the long run. Look for the EPA’s WaterSense label or ENERGY STAR certification.
- Plant a native or succulent garden
You don't have to give up on gardening, if that's your thing. As I stated earlier, showering with a bucket every day should take care of most plant-lover's green babies. And flowers, grasses, and bushes native to the area have adapted to regional rainfall rates so require no water and have better defenses against predators. Another bonus: Native plants foster healthy soil and insect life, which attract birds and enhance overall biodiversity.