About 21 out of the 37 aquifers on earth are drying out at an alarming rate. Several places worldwide, including many cities in the United States, are already facing major water crises. Water conservation is now an even bigger and more urgent issue than it was before.
Nearly everything you do at home—drinking, cooking, washing, showering, and flushing—uses precious water resources. If you want to conserve water, the best place to start is at home. You can contribute to the effort by doing these simple things to save water.
Use Low-Flow Showerheads
Showers are usually the biggest water wasters in most homes. If you can replace your old showerhead with a low-flow one, you can save about one-half to two gallons of water every minute. The switch is more effective if you take shorter showers. A 30-minute shower consumes 75 to 120 gallons of water with a standard showerhead and 15 to 60 gallons with a low-flow one. But taking 10-minute showers using a low-flow showerhead will save even more water.
Switch to Automatic-Shutoff Faucet
Many people leave the tap running while doing the dishes, scrubbing their hands, brushing their teeth, and shaving their face. This lazy habit wastes millions of gallons of water every year. If you can’t be bothered to turn off the tap, you may as well switch to automatic shutoff faucets. There’s no need to manually shut off the valve as it has a sensor that automatically stops and starts the water flow when you need it.
Replace Your Old Toilet
Old toilets are another major water waster in the household. One can use as much as six gallons of water per flush. If you’re still using one now, you may want to replace it with a high-efficiency toilet that flushes powerfully without wasting gallons of water. Toilets are usually expensive and difficult to install. If you can’t afford a new one right now, you can always try converting your old one to a low- and dual-flush toilet. You can do it yourself or hire a professional plumber. The cost will depend on the complexity of the job and the hourly rate of your plumber.
Most people will think twice about collecting water for home use because they believe it’s illegal. However, the federal government has not placed any restrictions on harvesting rainwater. Experts opposed this practice before because they believed it would disrupt the hydrologic cycle, but new studies have debunked this belief.
The amount of rainwater collected at home is not significant enough to affect the cycle. Despite the lack of federal restriction, it’s safer to check with local authorities and laws to make sure it’s legal to collect rainwater in your state. If it truly is, you can use the water you harvest to irrigate your garden, wash your car, and clean your house.
Fix Leaks Immediately
Leaks are responsible for wasting 900 billion gallons of water every year in the United States. When left unchecked, a minor leak can quickly turn into a full-blown deluge, thus wasting gallons and gallons of water. That’s why it’s crucial to address one as soon as possible, and the only way to nip one in the bud is to inspect your pipes and plumbing regularly. As part of your home maintenance job, check your plumbing at least once a month, and have it looked at by a professional every two years. This way, you can catch leaks and problems before they get worse and ensure the excellent condition of your plumbing system.
Practice Water-Saving Habits
Whether it’s using water-saving showerheads or automatic shutoff faucets, any change you make at home won’t be effective in saving water if you don’t change the way you consume water. Much of the water wasted in households can be attributed to people’s wasteful habits. Everyone should learn to be conscious of how they use water and actively pursue ways to conserve it. That way, they can slow down the rapid dwindling of this precious resource and prevent a global catastrophe from happening.