When you live in a region like the Pacific Northwest, it feels as though water could never be in short supply. Yet, while 70% of the earth is covered by water, only 2.5% of that is freshwater. Not only that, but only 1% of that freshwater is easily accessible. As our global population continues to grow, our limited supply of potable water—that 1% of accessible freshwater—becomes more and more scarce. Studies suggest that within the next five years, two-thirds of the global population could be living in water-stressed regions. That’s where water conservation comes in.
As well drillers, we are continually aware of the value of our local and global water supply. Every time we drill a water well, there is a possibility that we won’t find any groundwater. This is a frustrating reality for homeowners wishing to tap into the benefits of a private water well. Protecting our region’s access to clean water means doing everything we can to conserve the water we use. There are many ways to conserve water in and around your home. These are just a few of the easiest to implement water conservation tips.
Washington Water Conservation
Water conservation can be broken down into two different categories: reducing water use and water efficiency. These tips fall into both categories, but we wanted to take a moment to differentiate the two. Reducing water use applies to our personal habits and how we choose to use water in our homes and gardens. Water efficiency is when we choose to upgrade our appliances and household systems in order to automatically reduce the amount of water coming out of our taps, showerheads, and more.
Households in the United States use an estimated 29 billion gallons of water per day. That’s an extraordinary amount of water, and nearly 70% of it is used outside on lawns and gardens. While most of our tips will fall into the category of personal usage, Washington State offers some great solutions for reclaiming water and wastewater recycling in order to use our water more efficiently. We highly recommend looking into these options, especially if your home or business uses an onsite sewage system and/or waterless toilets.
In the meantime, here are our top tips for water conservation in Washington and beyond.
Indoor Water Conservation Tips
- Take shorter showers: By reducing your shower time to under five minutes, you can save up to 1,000 gallons per month!
- Turn off the water while shaving or brushing your teeth: This one small change can save up to four gallons per minute. If everyone in your household contributed, that translates to 200 gallons per week.
- Wash only full loads of laundry or dishes: Try selecting the shortest cycle possible or opt for a high-efficiency washing machine that offers multiple water-saving options.
- Compost your food: Instead of using the garbage disposal, which requires water, consider creating a home compost pile or bin.
- Defrost frozen food in the fridge or microwave, and not under running water: This saves you both time and water!
- Fix any leaks: A single leak can waste several thousand liters of water per year. A leaky toilet can waste 200 gallons a day (or 50 flushes)! Resolve leaky faucets, pipes, and toilets quickly in order to save that water.
Outdoor Conservation Tips
- Garden with native plants: Native plants are more tolerant of our natural environment and often need much less water than grass or non-native plants.
- Collect rainwater: Adding rain barrels to your yard can provide an ongoing supply of water to use for your garden, especially here in Washington!
- Follow local watering restrictions: Your lawn needs far less water than you might realize, even during the dry season. Check your county’s watering policies to see how and when to water your lawn during the spring/summer.
- Use a hose timer: This simple device can help you manage water usage when you are away. A daily or weekly watering timer helps conserve water by shutting it on and off for you, in case you are on vacation or simply forget to shut it off.
Other Ways to Conserve Water
Our personal water usage is just one part of the larger picture. Water is used in nearly everything we touch on a daily basis: our food, our vehicles, whether or not we choose to recycle.
The team over at Water Footprint Calculator put together a unique way to learn more about our broader water footprint. Their simple calculator lets you see how each part of your daily life utilizes water. Not only that, but you can also get customized tips for water conservation for every area, from bathing to utilities and even the food you eat.
Water conservation is an important part of our lives—now more than ever. However, lasting impact happens even when we take small steps. Start by choosing a few easy-to-implement options from the water conservation tips above. As you find a rhythm in one area, add another conservation habit to your daily routine. Before you know it, you will be saving water, using it more efficiently, and even lower your water bill in the process. That’s what we call a win-win!
Want to learn more about how a private water well can help you conserve water and save on your water bill? Contact us to learn more!