Water Conservation─for Life

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Do you give water conservation much thought? Many Americans don’t, and sadly, fresh water has become an alarmingly scarce resource. According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, we consume fresh water supplies through our households, factory-farming, landscaping and agricultural uses, and commercial and industrial purposes far more rapidly than they can be replenished.

In fact, a recent government survey indicated that at least 36 states are anticipating local, regional, or statewide water shortages by 2013. By using water more efficiently, you can help preserve water supplies for future generations, save money, and protect the environment. Here are a few smart, effective ideas from American Water & Energy Savers (AWES) to inspire you:

  • Operate automatic dishwashers and clothes washers only when they are fully loaded or properly set the water level for the size of load you are using.
  • Install an instant water heater on your kitchen sink so you don’t have to let the water run while it heats up. This will reduce heating costs for your household.
    • Insulate your water pipes. You’ll get hot water faster and avoid wasting water while it heats up.
    • Kitchen sink disposals require a lot of water to operate properly and can add 50% to the volume of solids in a septic tank. Instead, start a compost pile to dispose of food waste.
    • Along with taking shorter showers, replace showerheads with ultra-low-flow versions.
    • Don’t over water your lawn. As a general rule, lawns only need watering every 5 to 7 days in the summer and every 10 to 14 days in the winter. A hearty rain eliminates the need to water for up to two weeks.
    • Plant it smart. Xeriscape landscaping is a great way to design, install and maintain both your plants and irrigation system that will save you time, money and water. Contact your Water Management District to learn more.
    • Find a commercial car wash that recycles water. If you wash your own car, park on the grass to do so.
    • If you have a swimming pool, consider a new water-saving pool filter. A single back flushing with a traditional filter uses from 180 to 250 gallons or more of water.

Even small changes can make a big difference, especially if we all make an effort. For more clever tips, visit http://www.americanwater.com/49ways.php

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