In states like California, Nevada and Arizona where water is precious, water districts urge residents to take special care to conserve water. They also have special billing structures designed to make water expensive if a household uses more than its slated allotment. However, even in states that aren't short on freshwater, conserving helps the environment and the planet. Everyone can take a few simple steps to cut back on water use and preserve natural resources.
The Audubon Society reports that lawn watering accounts for 20 to 50 percent of a household's water usage. "Science Daily" reports lawns are the single most irrigated crop in America. While there's nothing wrong with having a green lawn, there's also no need to overwater. Homeowners can help conserve water by using auto-timed sprinklers set to just a few minutes per day. Dry landscaping, which has become increasingly favored in states with limited water resources dramatically reduces water usage and bills.
Although a long, hot shower can be relaxing and refreshing, it doesn't take very much water to get clean. Shorter showers can dramatically reduce water consumption. Homeowners can go even further by installing low-flow showerheads. Additionally, water districts in drought-hit areas often advise residents to turn off the water while soaping and scrubbing, using it only to rinse at the beginning and end of their showers. Low-flow and double-flush toilets help reduce the number of gallons per flush.
Many families have a tradition of washing their cars on their driveways. Traditionally, this has saved money on tight budgets. At the same time, it can be a tremendous drain on water resources. Water conservation experts recommend washing cars infrequently. Additionally, professional car washes on average, use less water per car than home car washing does. Environmentally friendly car washes help conserve water and often use nontoxic cleaners to prevent contamination of sewage, reclaimed and seawater.
When used correctly, washing machines and dishwashers can be significantly more water efficient than hand washing dishes. By running full loads of clothing or dishes, a larger number of items receive cleaning with a set amount of water. Appliances now come in energy saving and water-conserving models to further environmental protection efforts. In states with water rationing, residents may find that purchasing a new dishwasher or washing machine will save them money by significantly lowering water bills. Additionally, many states including California, give rebate incentives to those who purchase energy and water-saving appliances.
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