Liquid water is essential to life as we know it on planet Earth. With rising temperatures ahead, our water resources are critical to us all. Whether nations contain hot-desert areas or not, the appropriate management of water is essential. In fact, life-sustaining water is literally far more important and valuable than oil. While most Americans generally take clean water for granted, the current generation may see unprecedented changes in water policy, development of desalinization plants, and the distant transport of water through major pipelines. While the “amount” of Earth’s water remains stable, its accessibility and distribution may change dramatically. A current example is truckloads of water being hauled from California to the Crater Lake National Park system in Oregon.
As good Earth Stewards, what can/should we do to use water responsibly? Here are 25 ideas:
- Run kitchen-tap water into pitchers until it is hot before you start your dishwasher. Use that water later for your houseplants or garden.
- If washing dishes by hand, use a container of rinse water rather than letting it run over dishes.
- Try a Navy Shower: Get wet, turn water off, lather up, rinse. Two minutes of water use is all you’ll need.
- Install a water-saver showerhead.
- Keep a pitcher of cold drinking water in the fridge instead of letting the water run down the drain while waiting for it to cool.
- Wash your car on the lawn.
- Use a pistol-nozzle on your garden hose rather than letting it run open ended.
- Use a bucket in your bathtub to catch water until it warms, then use it on plants later.
- Water plants with runoff caught from rinsing fruit and vegetables under your faucet.
- See if your community allows plumbing your gray water directly to your outdoor plants.
- Use a broom, not water, to clean sidewalks and driveways.
- Turn running water off while shaving, washing hands, or brushing teeth.
- Water lawns only in the early morning or late evening, and preferably on windless days.
- Compost fruit & vegetable waste rather than using the garbage disposal.
- Consider replacing your lawn with water-wise plants. If you live in a desert, grow desert plants.
- Run dishwashers and clothes-washers only with full loads.
- Upgrade old toilets with the newer water-saving models
- Make sure that lawn sprinklers never hit driveways, sidewalks, buildings, fences, etc.
- Put your lawn mower on the “highest setting” to conserve water and strengthen grasses.
- Check the policy in your area about using barrels to catch rainwater from your roof to use later on flower beds and gardens.
- Never use running water to thaw frozen foods. Plan ahead, and defrost it in the fridge.
- Fix plumbing leaks immediately.
- Don’t use toilets as garbage cans.
- Save money and resources by avoiding plastic water-bottles. Use your own refillable container for meetings, hiking, etc.
- If you have a pool, cover it when it’s not in use to reduce evaporation loss.
- For dozens of other water-saving ideas go to www.wateruseitwisely.com
This is Ron Helstern with Wild About Utah.
Courtesy & Copyright Ron Hellstern, Photographer
Text: Ron Hellstern, Cache Valley Wildlife Association
Conservation Program, Utah Division of Water Resources,
Waterwise Utah, Utah Education Network & Partners, http://waterwiseutah.org/
Water Quality-Conservation, USU Extension, http://extension.usu.edu/waterquality/conservation/
Slow the Flow, Jordan Valley Water Conservancy District & Partneres, http://www.slowtheflow.org/