What You Can Do

There are many effective ways to conserve water in and around your home. Look through this list for ways that will work for you. Many of these tips were gleaned from materials published by the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California (MWD). Also visit the New Mexico State Engineer Water use and Conservation and Water Use It Wisely (Water Conservation 100 ways to conserve)

In the Bathroom

1. Lower the float level in the toilet tank to allow it to turn off at a lower level. This will allow you to use less water with each flush. Better yet, for even greater savings, replace your water-guzzling five to seven gallon a flush toilet with a one and a half gallon, ultra-low flush model.

2. If you're taking a shower, don't waste cold water while waiting for hot water to reach the shower head. Catch that water in a container to use on your outside plants or to flush your toilet.

3. Check toilet for leaks. If you need to jiggle the handle every now and then or you here water trickiling in the tank the flap valve sealing the tank may need to be replaced or the chain on the flush handle may need to be shortened.

4. Turn off the water while brushing your teeth.

5. Turn off the water while shaving. Fill the bottom of the sink with a few inches of water to rinse your razor.

In the Kitchen

1. If you wash dishes by hand--and that's the best way--don't leave the water running for rinsing. If you have two sinks, fill one with rinse water. If you only have one sink, use a spray device or short blasts instead of letting the water run.

2. When washing dishes by hand, use the least amount of detergent possible. This minimizes rinse water needed.

3. Keep a bottle of drinking water in the refrigerator. This beats the wasteful habit of running tap water to cool it for drinking.

4. Don't defrost frozen foods with running water. Either plan ahead by placing frozen items in the refrigerator overnight or defrost them in the microwave.

5. Don't let the faucet run while you clean vegetables. Rinse them in a filled sink or pan.

6. Use the garbage disposal less and the garbage more (even better--compost!).

Outside

1. Put a layer of mulch around trees and plants. Chunks of bark, Pecan shells, peat moss or gravel slows down evaporation.

2. If you have a pool, use a pool cover to cut down on evaporation. It will also keep your pool cleaner and reduce the need to add chemicals.

3. Water during the cool parts of the day. Early morning is better than dusk since it helps prevent the growth of fungus.

4. Don't water the lawn on windy days. There's too much evaporation.

5. Cut down watering on cool and overcast days and don't water in the rain. Adjust or deactivate automatic sprinklers.

6. Set lawn mower blades one notch higher. Longer grass means less evaporation.

7. Have an evaporative air conditioner? Direct the water drain line to a flower bed, tree base, or lawn.

8. Drive your car onto a lawn to wash it. Rinse water can help water the grass.

9. Tell your children not to play with the garden hose.

10. If you allow your children to play in the sprinklers, make sure it's only when you're watering the yard--if it's not too cool at that time of day.

11. Xeriscape--replace your lawn and high-water-using trees and plants with less thirsty ones. But do this only in wet years. Even drought resistant plantings take extra water to get them going.

12. When taking your car to a car wash--a good idea for saving water--be sure it's one of the many that recycles its wash water.

 

 

 

 

 

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