Why are water conservation facts so important for you to know? Consider this: Water may cover more than 70% of the planet, but only 2% of all that water is suitable for drinking, and only 1% of all that water is actually available for consumption. According to Nature Canada, 68.9% of the earth’s fresh water exists in the form of glaciers and permanent snow cover; 30.8% of the earth’s fresh water is trapped as permafrost, swamp water, soil moisture and groundwater and 2.5% of the world’s water is held in freshwater rivers, lakes, snow, ice and in underground aquifers.
We’re not just talking about drinking water here; we’re also talking about water that is used to grow our food, to sustain our crops and feed the animals that end up feeding us.
So water conservation is important in order to ensure adequate water supply for everyone. We must all act responsibly and do our best to conserve water. Here are ten water conservation facts and tips that can help you save water!
How to conserve water while landscaping and gardening
- Water your lawn either early in the morning or in the late evening. At these times, the air is still and the temperatures are lower, which prevents evaporation loss quite so much as during the day. Only water your lawn when it actually needs it. If, when you step on the lawn, it springs back when you lift your foot, it does not require watering. If, however, it stays flat when you lift your foot, go ahead and water your lawn. Better yet, during the dry season, do not water your lawn. Let it go yellow for the dry season, and when the rains return it will begin anew.
- Get rid of your lawn entirely. Think about how much water that lawn really needs. It’s not low maintenance either–between bi-weekly mowings, fertilizing, and what not. Instead, choose an alternate low-maintenance cover for your yard – a wildflower mix, a rock garden, creeping thyme, or other native plant species. These plants need less maintenance and care, and much less water.
- Install rain barrels. Is all the water flowing up from your gutters ending up in the public city sewer? That is a terrible waste of water, not to mention that the water drags every pollutant it comes in contact into whatever local waterways are used for getting rid of the water. Instead, consider capturing the water in rain barrels that are installed under your gutters. They come with faucets, to which you can attach a hose. When your garden grows dry, you have a much better source of water than the tap.
Ways to conserve water in the kitchen
- Only run your dishwasher when it is full. Or, when you wash your dishes by hand, fill a sink half-way with soapy water and then rinse with clean water.
- Keep a container of water in your refrigerator. This prevents you from running the water until the water runs cold, which aids in water conservation.
Whole home water conservation facts
- Consider installing a pipe system to capture your grey water from showers and laundry for re-use in your toilets. This alone can save you more than 50% in terms of water usage a year; which makes it not only a water savings, but also a money savings on your municipal water bill over the long term, allowing the investment to pay for itself.
- Run your washing machine only when it is full. Or use only a washing machine that allows you to vary the amount of water that it uses based upon the size of the load.
Water conservation in the bathroom
- Shower, don’t bathe. Baths are very wasteful when it comes to water use: they take about 36 gallons of water. Showers use far less water, especially if they are short. Keep your showers to five minutes in length to keep your water use down to 15-25 gallons of water per shower. Better yet, use a flow restrictor to stop the water from running while you shampoo your hair and scrub your body. This will keep the water warm, but prevent it from just flowing down the drain while you get clean.
- Close the faucet when you are brushing your teeth or shaving. This is one of the best water conservation facts you can put into practice. You wouldn’t believe how many gallons of wasted water you’ll save–think about how much goes down the drain every morning.
- Mind your toilet. Your standard toilet sends more than six gallons of water down the drain with every flush. Switching to a toilet that uses between a half and one gallon of water to remove the waste can save you a lot of money and a lot of water at the same time. While you’re at it, don’t use the toilet (or any sink for that matter) to dispose of medicine, tissues, poisons or garbage as these toxins cannot necessarily be removed at your water treatment plant. These harmful products can end up harming wildlife, farms and endangering the water safety of other communities “downstream.”
Want to see more water conservation facts and tips? This video has more: