Simple Ideas Make a Big Difference: Water Conservation Solutions

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In honour of Water Day, here's a blog post on some simple ideas that can make a big difference in water conservation.

Water is precious. It keeps us hydrated and flushes out toxins from our body. And as populations increase - along with higher living standards - water usage actually increases. Researches have found that since 1900, the United States saw the population growth double, but water usage increased by six-folds. A water shortage is a very real and dangerous situation to come across. It can affect agriculture, and even our health.

So as the world's population surpasses 7 billion, we need to learn how to conserve and reuse our water. So below is a list of some water saving tips you may or may not have heard.

Water Conservation in the Garden

  1. Group plants with similar watering needs to create water zones
  2. When it rains, use gutter water found in barrels to feed garden hoses and sprinklers.
  3. Use plants that are acclimated to the local weather. This will help reduce overwatering.
  4. To minimize evaporation, always water during the early hours of the morning when temperatures are much cooler.
  5. Only water plants when necessary because more plants die from over-watering than under-watering.
  6. Pavement and cement don't need watering, so don't water on windy days.
  7. Let it grow! Golf lawns not needed. The longer the grass, the more shade it provides for the soil, thus causing less evaporation.
  8. Reuse grass clippings by sprinkling some at the base of drought-tolerant plants. It'll help to reduce water evaopration from the soil.
  9. Plant seeds and bulbs during the wet season. If planted during the dry times, that means more water gets used.
  10. Make sure compact soil gets aerated properly to insure water absorption.
  11. If you are building a pond, put it in shaded areas to prevent water evaporation. If you already have a pond with zero shade, consider creating some by planting trees or shrubs around the perimeter.

Water Conservation Outside the Home

  1. Avoid washing your car during dry days.
  2. Don't use the hose to clean up pathways or driveways of debris. Use a broom and get some exercise.
  3. If you have a pool, cover it when not in use. This will slow down evaporation.
  4. When it rained, and I do mean rained,Modern Survival Onlineturned an umbrella upside down on top of a bucket to let the rain water drip into the bucket. It appeared to have worked well as the bucket collected 2.5 gallons of water.

Water Conservation in the Kitchen and Laundry

  1. Don't thaw food by running it under water. Leave it out overnight.
  2. Water that is used to rinse produce can be reused to water houseplants.
  3. To clean crusty food on pots and plans, soak the dishes in water first instead of letting the water run while you scrape them clean.
  4. When washing dishes by hand, wash only once a day. But fill one sink with wash water and the other with rinse water. And don't forget to reuse the rinse water as plant water.
  5. Use just one glass reserved as your drinking water. This will reduce the number of times you wash it.
  6. If you like to go on vacation, make sure you turn off the water to prevent new drips or pipe bursts. Or worse: a flood.
  7. If you like using ice cubes to make drinks cold, consider also using them to water plants. The ice cube will melt slowly into the soil, thus preventing excess water to overflow
  8. Reuse unsoiled dishes.
  9. Hate ants? Try dumping leftover boiling water on ant hills rather than down the drain. On the plus side, zero chemical pesticides are used.
  10. Try covering you pans when cooking. By doing so the water used won't evaporate as fast, plus it'll help boil water faster.
  11. House chores are a drag, so doing the laundry less in order to save water is awesome. Also, your clothes, sheets, and linen will last a lot longer. As a side note, try handwashing delicates and other lightweight fabrics. It saves water, money, and energy. A win-win for everyone.
  12. Only wash fully loaded dish washers and washing machines, or set the water level to the size of load you are using.
  13. Try rerouting the washing machine to get the water from the rinse cycle to the garden or pond.

To read water conservation tips for the bathroom and for kids, click here.