Voluntary Water Conservation Measures
Why Should We Conserve Water?
- Water is a precious natural resource. Only about 1% of the earth’s water is suitable and available for our use. Groundwater aquifers can be diminished or exhausted if water is withdrawn faster than the rate at which they are naturally replenished. Many areas of the United States are already experiencing water supply shortages. To ensure future generations have enough water, conservation is essential.
- Water conservation can have a huge impact on water utility operations and costs. Lower water production rates translate to reduced operating costs. More importantly, by reducing the peak water demand on a utility, the need for expensive capital projects (e.g. wells) to increase water supply capacity may be delayed or avoided, thus helping to hold down taxes.
- By using less water, you may save on water and sewer bills, and gas or electric bills as well (e.g. by reducing hot water use, you also reduce the amount of energy used for hot water heating).
In the Bathroom
- Don’t let the water run when shaving or brushing your teeth; turn the faucet on only as needed, and lower the flow setting.
- Take showers instead of baths.
- Install low-flow shower heads and water-saving toilets.
- Don’t use the toilet as a wastebasket; use it only for sanitary waste, as intended.
- Repair or replace leaking faucets and toilets.
In the Kitchen and Laundry
- Thaw frozen food in the refrigerator, rather than under running water.
- When hand washing dishes, use wash and rinse basins rather than running water whenever possible.
- Pre-soak heavily caked or greasy pots and pans before washing.
- Don’t use more dishwashing liquid than necessary; excessively soapy water increases the amount of rinsing needed.
- When using a dishwasher, do full loads whenever possible. Pre-rinsing dishes before loading is usually not necessary; most modern dishwashers do an excellent job without the need for pre-rinsing.
- For drinking, keep a container of water in the refrigerator. Don’t let the faucet run just to get a glass of colder water.
- In the laundry, match the water level in your washer to the size of the load, and do fuller loads whenever possible.
- Repair leaking hoses and faucets. Use a hose nozzle that can be adjusted for the task at hand.
- Instead of hosing sidewalks and driveways, use a broom or leaf blower to remove debris.
- Use a shutoff nozzle on your hose when washing vehicles, patio furniture, etc.
- Avoid overfilling your pool to minimize spillage. Use a pool cover to prevent evaporation.
- Water lawns during the early morning hours before 9 a.m., when there is less evaporation. (It’s also better than evening watering for prevention of lawn diseases.) Avoid watering on windy days.
- Water deeply and infrequently, promoting the growth of deep roots which make lawns less susceptible to drought.
- Avoid operating automatic irrigation systems when rainfall has been adequate.
- The Northwest Water Planning Alliance has prepared a document of recommended practices for lawn and landscape maintenance. A copy of this manual is available in the right-hand column of this webpage.