I am very lucky to live in a part of North America where water is inexpensive and plentiful. Not only am I the exception to the rule, it won’t always be that way. Indeed, there are parts of the planet where clean, safe drinking water is almost impossible to find.
Conservation is more important than you know. Clean water is being taken faster than the earth can replace it, and even in water rich areas like mine, we have to be very careful. Newer technologies and more aggressive techniques at saving water and water reclimation are being worked on – but in the meantime we can all save water.
Here are five easy and simple ways you can do you part and conserve water around your home – ever bit counts.
Buy a Rain Barrel
Your grass, flowers and plants do not need disinfected drinking water like you and your pets do. The water that comes from your tap is expensive to make and distribute but the water that comes from the sky is free. Purchase a rain barrel from your local hardware store and collect the free stuff for your lawn and garden. You’ll save thousands of liters of water a year!
Fix Those Leaks!
Is your tap dripping away? Is your toilet tank running all the time? These things add up. Dripping taps can waste up to a liter of water every hour – that’s enough to fill your bathtub in one week. That is a lot of water going nowhere. Fix the leaks to save water and money.
Brushing Your Teeth Takes Less Water Than You Think.
It is beyond me why anyone would leave the tap running while brushing their teeth – but everybody does it. It’s a very human thing to do. Leaving your tap on for two minutes while you brush can waste almost 10 liters of water. That’s 20 bottles of water every time you brush your teeth! Turn the water off after you wet the brush and back on to rinse – that’s all you need. Be aware, and save water!
Use a Broom, Not a Hose
My father is the guilty party here. He uses the hose to wash leaves and sand from his driveway. He uses enough water to fill a bathtub every time he does it. Try a broom instead. It’s just as effective and saves a ton of water – not to mention helping you some good exercise!
Low Flow Everywhere
Most newer taps come with water saving aerators on them. They use much less water but keep the pressure so it feels like enough water. If you have an older sink, go to the hardware store and purchase low flow aerators. They are only a few dollars a piece but can cut your water consumption from the taps in half. Low flow toilets work well to save water, using only 1/3 of the water that the older models do. If you are not going to replace a toilet any time soon, try putting a brick in the toilet tank. That will reduce the water per flush but not the power of the flush – the water level is just as high so gravity can carry it down with just as much power. Finally, look for shower heads that advertise low flow/high pressure, and you will be on your way to saving water and your water bill.
These five methods are by no means exhaustive, but by following these simple techniques you can do your part for water conservation and spend less money on your bills.
Mike Mandell works at a water treatment facility in Canada. As well, he runs a website providing free information and advice about drinking water, water treatment, pumps and equipment, and anything else to do with water. Visit him at http://www.truthofwater.com