Many areas of the country experience drought during certain times of the year. A drought is classified as a period of time dry enough to cause significant damage to crops, create water shortages, and seriously impact people's lives. This can happen rapidly which is why at the first sign of dry weather, water is restricted. To do your part, here are six tips to save water during a drought.
1. Hold Off on Watering the Lawn
When a municipality issues a non-essential water ban, they usually ask people to stop watering their lawn. As much as you hate seeing your green lawn turn brown and dry, it's only temporary. Your lawn can survive in a dormant state for several weeks and once the drought passes, it'll return to its glorious color. If fall is close, you should already know when to stop watering the lawn for it to come back healthy.
2. Take a Two-Minute Shower
Another effective way to save water is to challenge yourself to the two-minute shower. If you think it's impossible, you're in for a pleasant surprise. Set your timer and jump into the shower. Get wet, soap up, and rinse. If you have to wash your hair, turn off the water while you lather up. Use a low-flow showerhead and put a bucket in the shower to collect excess water for plants.
3. Do Laundry Once Per Week
If you're one of those people that wears an item once and throws it into the hamper, it's time to change your ways. Many items of clothing can be worn several times before washing. To save water, especially during a drought, do only full loads and try to keep it to a minimum of once per week. By now, you should also be using a high-efficiency washing machine and use cold water to save energy.
4. Get Creative With Plants
For people that love gardening, dry spells are a nightmare scenario. Fortunately, there are several tricks to get through the worst of it. Since the use of a sprinkler is a no-no, you'll need to do it by hand. Water your plants either early in the morning or after sunset when it's cooler and they're able to retain moisture.
You can also help your plants stay damp during the day by surrounding them with mulch. This reduces evaporation and helps the plant hold onto water. If you live in an area that's prone to arid weather, include drought-resistant plants in your garden such as lavender, salvia, yarrow, and rosemary.
5. Don't Use Unnecessary Water
You can save an incredible amount of water by looking at your family's habits and putting a halt to unnecessary water usage. For example, don't leave your faucet running while you're brushing your teeth or shaving. That's precious water being washed down the drain. Also, when you use the toilet at home and there's nothing to flush, hold off until later.
Another misuse of water is when you wash your car. Everyone likes to have a sparkling vehicle, but when you're in a drought, putting up with a dusty car for a few days can save gallons of water.
6. Fix Household Leaks
If you have a leaky faucet or toilet, you're wasting more water than you think. Neglecting to fix a drip will not only drive you crazy, but it'll also increase your water bill. You can tell if you have a leak in your toilet if you can't flush it, or it never stops running. To test it, put a few drops of food coloring in the tank and wait. If the color shows up in the bowl, you've got a leak that needs to be repaired.
If you're in an area that's experiencing drought conditions, do your part to help out. By avoiding lawn sprinklers and the use of unnecessary water, you'll save precious resources and also learn great ways to save yourself money.