20 Ways to Conserve Water
Water is a necessity of life. 70% of the Earth's surface is covered with water and yet, many parts of the world suffer from an acute water shortage. Human beings presume water to be a limitless resource. The truth, however, is that water is an exhaustible resource that can deplete quickly if not conserved well. With global warming and climate change posing new threats to flora and fauna diversity, conserving water has become imperative. Conservation efforts are essential to ensure an unlimited supply of water for future generations.
Water conservation has economic and environmental benefits. Global migration and increased urbanization have led to a continually growing demand for unlimited water supply. This increasing demand for water has put excessive pressure on aquifers, which has resulted in steadily declining groundwater levels and groundwater storage. Many major cities in the world have already run out of groundwater. This overuse of water does not only pose potential threats to the human race but has also negatively affected other life forms on Earth. Each year, more and more species are becoming extinct due to habitat changes caused by water.
Conserving water is vital to protect human life as well as other forms of life on planet Earth. Moreover, water conservation efforts result in reduced energy requirements and therefore, reduced pollution and better use of fuel resources. Rajendra Singh, the Water Man of India, once said that the third world war would be about water. With 21 of the world's 37 aquifers already experiencing water stress, the only way to stop Singh's words from becoming the truth is to conserve water.
If you are committed to the goal of water conservation, read on the ways to conserve water.
1. Always Turn off Faucets
Many people allow the faucet to run while they are washing hands, brushing teeth, or doing dishes. Hundreds of gallons of water can be saved each day, only if people commit to turning off faucets when not needed.
2. Take a Quick Shower
Taking a quick shower allows you to save time as well as water. On average, people use five to ten gallons of water while taking a shower. Taking a quick shower will allow you to reduce this average. Here's a hack: time your shower to a song. It helps!
3. Invest in Low Flush Toilets
Low flush toilets allow homeowners to cut down their indoor water consumption by almost 30%. If money is tight, consider installing a dual flush converter in your standard bathroom. The converter will reduce the flush water amount by nearly 70%.
4. Stop Using Your Toilet as a Dustbin
A habit many people have is flushing all kinds of trash into the toilet. Throwing garbage into the toilet does not only lead to clogged drains but also gallons of water being wasted. Keep a dustbin in your washroom and use it, and not the toilet, to throw things.
5. Water Your Plants Only If Needed
During the rainy season, the rain provides an ample supply of water to the plants. Thus, during the rainy season, check if your plants need water before watering them. Do not just water them because out of habit. Similarly, also refrain from over-watering your plants. Over-watering not only causes water wastage but also loss of valuable nutrients from the soil.
6. Use Your Hands and Not the Hose to Water the Plants
If you have a garden, refrain from using a hose — instead, hand water your plants. A study conducted by EPA revealed that homeowners could save 33% more water if they choose to hand water their plants. Moreover, hand watering helps keep foliage dry and fungal diseases away.
7. Consider Planting Drought Tolerant Plants
The best way to conserve water in your garden is to seed drought-tolerant plants. Bougainvillea, Lithops, Lantana, Verbena, Portulaca, Oleander, Sage, and Poppy are some of the common drought-tolerant plants that homeowners favor. These plants will beautify your garden and home without demanding any water.
8. Water Your Plants in the Morning
During mornings, less water is lost to evaporation. Thus, plants need lesser water. During the day, when the sun is shining bright, evaporation increases, which leads to a lot of water getting wasted.
9. Invest in a High-Efficiency Washing Machine
Traditional washing machines consume up to 54 gallons of water per cycle. A high-efficiency washing machine can cut down this consumption to 7 gallons per cycle. High-efficiency washing machines do not only help conserve water but also energy. Thus, if you are committed to water conservation, buy a high-efficiency washing machine.
10. Always Do Full Loads
An automatic washing machine consumes 30 -35 gallons of water per load. Thus, do not run the machine until and unless you have a full load. Wait until you have enough clothes that need washing. Moreover, try avoiding the permanent press cycle as this setting further adds to the water wastage.
11. Use Dual Sinks to Your Advantage
While doing the dishes, fill one sink with hot soapy water and the other with cold water. First, wash each utensil in the first sink and then, rinse it off in the sink with cold water. Dual sinks help conserve a lot of water as most people keep the tap open while doing the dishes.
12. Invest in a Dishwasher
According to the EPA, using a dishwasher helps conserve almost 5,000 gallons of water each year. It is primarily because dishwashers help solve the problem of leaky and always-running faucets. To save more water, consider buying a smaller dishwasher.
13. Do Not Use Water to Clean Your Patio and Driveway
It is convenient to use a high-pressure hose to clean your patio and driveway. Unfortunately, this will always lead to a lot of water getting wasted. Thus, instead of using water, consider using a broom to clean various parts of your house.
14. Be Cautious While Washing Your Car
On average, one car wash consumes anything between 40 to 140 gallons of water. Thus, wash your car only when necessary. On most days, a microfiber cloth and a cleaning solution are enough to make your car shine. On days, washing becomes essential, either consider using water from buckets or at least a nozzle to reduce the water flow from the hose.
15. Insulate Your Pipes
We waste a lot of water waiting for the shower water to turn hot. Insulating pipes can help avoid water as insulating promotes faster heating.
16. Learn to Harvest Rainwater
Rainwater harvesting is one of the best ways to conserve water. Rainwater can be used for various non-drinking applications. Though rainwater harvesting systems are slightly on the expensive side, they can reduce overall consumption by almost 50%.
17. Check for Water Leaks in the House
Here's a handy trick: check your meter two hours before and after no water is running in the house. If the reading on the meter has moved, it's because there is a leakage. Call a professional and get it fixed immediately.
18. Switch off Fans and Lights When Not Needed
Power plants use a lot of water. Thus, by reducing electricity usage, you will take some burden off power plants and indirectly make a contribution to the global water conservation movement.
19. Avoid Eating Meat
The meat and dairy industry consumes a lot of water. It also adds significantly to global warming. By cutting down on meat, you will not only help conserve water but also help fight climate change.
20. Protect Water from Water-Grabbers
Water grabbers are billionaires, business tycoons, and international mega-corporations that are using the global water crisis to mint money. Do not fund water grabbers. Instead, help governments and non-government organizations in their fight against water grabbers.