CONSERVING WATER - USING OUR MOST PRECIOUS NATURAL RESOURCE EFFICIENTLY
At least 36 states are anticipating local, regional, or statewide water shortages by 2013. In most of the United States, water conservation has become synonymous with limiting consumption and maximizing a limited resource. Here in Suffolk County, where fresh water supply is not reaching any critical limit, these same measures may not be applicable. Our focus on water conservation isn’t a matter of limited quantity, but rather a matter of efficiency and system optimization.
Although we have a sufficient water supply to meet present and future demands if managed properly, there are many reasons why it's important to conserve our most precious resource. Conserving water reduces the need for electricity to run our well pumps; reduces the need to construct new wells, water mains and tanks to meet increased demand; ensures that there will be an adequate supply for future generations; and ensures that there will be sufficient water pressure during peak demand periods for fighting fires. Conserving water also saves money.
How to use water more efficiently at home:
1. Fix Leaks - Check for leaky faucets and toilets. An American home can waste, on average, more than 10,000 gallons of water every year due to running toilets, dripping faucets, and other household leaks.
2. Install Water conserving Appliances and Fixtures- They are cost-effective and can dramatically reduce water use. The average home, retrofitted with water-efficient fixtures, can save 30,000 gallons per year. Check for EPA’s WaterSense label when purchasing new appliances.
3. Don’t Let Water Run - Turn off the tap while brushing teeth, shaving, and soaping up your hands. This can save gallons a day.
4. Fill it Up – When running the clothes washer or dishwasher, always wash full loads.
5. Aerate your Faucet – Installing a WaterSense labeled aerator on your faucets is one of the most cost effective means to use water more wisely in your home. You can increase the faucet’s efficiency by 30 percent without decreasing performance.
Of the estimated 29 billion gallons of water used daily by households in the United States, nearly 7 billion gallons, or 30 percent, is devoted to outdoor water use. In the hot summer months, a household’s outdoor water use can be as high as 70 percent.
6. Irrigate Properly –Install a weather-based SMART irrigation controller which will ensure your irrigation system only operates when it needs to. Also, set timers properly and install rain shut-off devices and moisture sensors, if one isn’t built-in, to reduce excess watering. Regularly inspect the sprinkler heads to make sure they are not damaged or malfunctioning. Adjust sprinklers so they are not spraying water on paved surfaces such as the sidewalk, driveway, or road. These steps will also save you energy.
7. Choose Low-Maintenance Lawns - Consider using native ground cover that requires little water in place of lawn areas.
8. Mulch – Mulch your gardens and flower beds to prevent water loss through evaporation and help keep your soil moist.
9. Sweep vs. Hose - Sweep outdoor surfaces with a broom instead of using a hose.
10. Go to the Car Wash – Wash your vehicle at a car wash that recycles its water rather than doing it yourself at home.