What Is Water Conservation?
Water conservation refers to reducing the usage of water and recycling of waste water for different purposes such as cleaning, manufacturing, and irrigation.
Outdoor Water Conservation Tips
- Water only when needed. Look at the grass, feel the soil, or use a soil moisture meter to determine when to water
- Do not over water. Water needs vary greatly by season, grass species and amount of shade, so keeping the same settings year-round will result in over-watering. As a general rule, three-fourths of an inch of water per week on St. Augustine or Zoysia grasses that are in full sun is sufficient for the summer. In the shade, these species only need one-half of an inch of water per week. Bermuda grass and buffalo grass, both of which can only grow in full sun, require one-half of an inch per week. In the fall, spring and winter, these recommendations can be reduced or eliminated, depending on the weather
- To avoid excessive evaporation, use a sprinkler that produces large drops of water, rather than a fine mist. Sprinklers that send droplets out on a low angle also help control evaporation.
- Set automatic sprinkler systems to provide thorough but infrequent watering. Pressure-regulating devices should be set to design specifications. Rain shut-off devices can prevent watering in the rain.
- Use drip-irrigation systems for bedded plants, trees and shrubs, or turn the flat, green soaking hoses upside down so the holes are on the bottom. This will help prevent evaporation.
- See our for tips on maintaining your irrigation system.
- Forget about watering the streets, sidewalks or driveways. They will never grow a thing.
Indoor Water Conservation Tips
Water used inside our homes is considered essential for health. Using water as efficiently as possible by updating appliances to high-efficient models and implementing small behavior changes can add up to big savings.
- Check for leaks and make repairs as soon as possible. Even small pinhole leaks can add up to several hundreds of gallons being wasted.
- Install new showerheads and cut your shower time by only a few minutes. Many new showerhead models use less than 2 gallons per minute, look for WaterSense labeled models.
- Install faucet aerators. They use less water but still provide the same "feel" and pressure.
- Toilets are the highest consumer of water inside the house, around 30% of indoor household usage. Check for leaks and make sure your toilet tank flapper is in good shape. Install a newer model toilet which use far less water than models that are older than 15-20 years.
- Replace old clothes washers with new, water-efficient models and wash only full loads. Older washers use as much as 40 gallons per load, while newer models use only around 10 gallons.
- Use the dishwasher instead of hand-washing dishes. Install newer water-efficient models and only run them with full loads to save water, energy, and money.
Goals of Water Conservation Efforts
- Sustainability. To ensure availability for future generations, the withdrawal of fresh water from an ecosystem should not exceed its natural replacement rate.
- Energy Conservation. Water pumping, delivery, and wastewater treatment facilities consume a significant amount of energy. In some regions of the world over 15% of total electricity consumption is devoted to water management.
- Habitat Conservation. Minimizing human water use helps to preserve fresh water habitats for local wildlife and migrating water flow, as well as reducing the need to build new dams and other water diversion infrastructure.