Annalee Munsey from the Governor’s Water Conservation Team outlines some tips and good resources.
More than 60 percent of the water used at a home is used outdoors – i.e. placed on the lawn to keep it green. There are quite a few tips in both areas of water use that will help conserve water for future generations.
• With the temperatures being as high as they are, many people are placing way too much water on their lawns. It is okay to go two or three days without watering your grass. You can tell when your lawn needs some water by simply walking across it. If you leave footprints, then it is time to water. By stressing out the grass a little, you cause the roots to grow a little deeper, which actually will make your lawn stronger and healthier.
• Check your irrigation systems periodically to assure there are no broken sprinkler heads, or even ones that are misaligned and are watering the side walks or driveways – remember, concrete doesn’t need water to grow!
• Many people have at least one brown spot in their lawn, whether it is due to a bad sprinkler head or difficult soil. A brown patch of lawn shouldn’t make you water your entire lawn. Simply pull out the hose and water that one section by hand for a few minutes periodically throughout the week.
• Many people who water their lawn while it is raining, and during the early afternoon hours. Both of these should be avoided. If there is rain or high winds in the forecast, simply turn off your sprinkler system to skip that watering cycle. Most importantly, DO NOT water during the heat of the day. The water evaporates before it even makes it into the soil. Water during the late evening, night or early morning.
• Other general tips that will help conserve water include:
o If you are looking to upgrade appliances in your home, be sure you are looking for energy and water efficient appliances. They are generally marked as such.
o When you are rinsing the dishes, try to avoid letting the water run, and be sure your dishwasher and washing machine is pretty full before you run it – this saves water and energy.
o Try to cut back a few minutes on your shower, or even turn off the water while you lather up, shave or apply shampoo or conditioner.
o Low-flow shower heads are also a great option for reducing indoor water use. Faucet aerators can reduce bathroom faucet output from 2.5 gallons per minute to 1.5 gallons. You also should fix any leaky faucets around your homes, both inside and out.
For more information and customized water-use tips, visit www.slowtheflow.org.