MEP CA AB 1103

Water Conservation for Households

Especially in the summer months, water conservation is of peak importance to help towns and cities protect against drought. Expanding conservation and efficiency programs can reduce water use in cities by one-third or even one-half. Every household and every resident can take at least a few simple actions to help conserve water.

A good place to start is checking all faucets for leaks, indoors and out, and repair them as needed. A way to tell if your toilet is leaking is to add 12 drops of food coloring into the tank and if the color appears in the bowl one hour later, there is a leak.

Additionally, consider replacing old equipment such as toilets, dishwashers, and laundry machines. Newer appliances tend to use less water and are more energy efficient. When buying new machines, look for ones with water saving options and/or “light-wash” options to adjust for load size. Installing additional mechanisms such as toilet dams, faucet aerators, and low-flow showerheads are also good options to reduce water consumption.

Simple conserving measures in the kitchen include peeling and cleaning vegetables in a bowl of water instead of under running water and filling your sink with water when washing and rinsing dishes. Compost food scraps, if possible, instead of running the garbage disposal. In the bathroom, take short showers instead of baths and turn off the water when brushing your teeth, shaving, and soaping up in the shower.

Landscape irrigation accounts for nearly one-third of all residential water use, totally nearly 9 billion gallons of water per day. Start off by watering the lawn only when necessary. Water the lawn and garden in the morning or late in the evening to minimize evaporation and avoid watering on windy and hot days. Mulch around shrubs and flower beds also reduces evaporation, in addition to promotes plant growth and controls weeds. Adding compost and organic matter to soil will improve soil conditions and water retention. When mowing the lawn, setting the mower blades to 2-3 inches high will produce longer grass shades, which in turn improves moisture retention, allows it to grow thicker, and develop a deeper root system. This will leave your grass able to survive drought, tolerate insect damage, and fend off disease.