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How To Conserve Water Inside And Outside Your Home

The state of California is in a new period as it faces its first ever, state-wide water restrictions. All across the state, there is a shortage of water that does not seem to be anywhere close to coming to an end. With a drought and decreased snowfall, the low amount of water has led to California taking more drastic measures. The governor made a declaration that the Water Resources Control Board must decrease their water usage by 25%. If there is a good time to learn how to conserve water inside and outside your home, the time is now.

By following these tips, you could decrease the amount of water you are using to maintain your yard and home by more than 50%, which is equivalent to more than 10,000 gallons of water a year for the average homeowner.

  1. Fix the leaks. Leaks in and outside of a home can cause a large amount of water and money to be wasted. The first step to find out if you have leaks is by inspecting the appliances in your home that hold water. This will help you find leaks that are visible to the eye. For leaks that are invisible to the eye, you need to be able to read your water meter. By reading a meter, you will not only be able to discover whether or not you have any leaks, but also learn the amount of water you are using on a regular basis. If you turn off all of the water in your house and the meter is still indicating that you are using water, then you most likely have a leak. Reading the meter is especially important in discovering irrigation leaks, which can account for more than 50% of the water wasted.
  2. Check your toilet. A toilet is the number one water user inside a home. It is used frequently, never really getting a day off. Toilets that were built before 1992 are going to be wasting more water than toilets that have been built since then. After 1992, toilets were improved to be more water efficient, only using 1.6 gallons a flush. To determine whether or not your toilet was built before or after 1992, look for a label on your toilet. This is most likely going to be found inside the toilet, underneath the toilet seat.
  3. Check your washing machine. A washing machine is the appliance in a home that uses the second most amount of water. The Consortium for Energy Efficiency (CEE) conducted a study on the most water and energy efficient washing machines on the market. The water efficiency of washing machines has increased over the years. If you have an older model, consider buying a newer model in the near future. As you purchase a machine, check for the “water factor” (WF). The WF will indicate the amount of water used in each cycle of laundry. The higher the WF, the more water the machine is going to be using. Look for the lowest.
  4. Plant local plants. If you live in California, then plant California plants. Planting native plants will provide you with a garden that is used to the climate that you are living in. The plants are going to be accustomed to the amount of rain and type of soil in the area. This means that most of these plants are not going to have to be watered on a regular basis, as they can survive waiting for the natural rainfall to come. By planting exotic plants, you are increasing the risk of having to use more water to maintain your garden. This is especially true in dryer climates.
  5. Know your plants. Keeping up with landscape is one of the largest water wasters. It is important for homeowners to know how often and with how much water each of their plants needs to be watered. It is common for homeowners to water each of their plants the same amount, causing a waste of money and resources as some plants do not need to be watered as frequently or with as much water as others. One of the most common times of the year for homeowners to waste water is right before and right after the rainy season. If the garden is watered by an automatic sprinkler, make sure to be turning it off and on in accordance with the amount of rain received.
  6. Pick a new grass. Trying to maintain a green lawn consumes a large amount of water every year. If you are in the midst of creating a new garden, consider choosing a grass that does not need as much water. Types of grasses like Bluegrass, Zoysia, and Fescue are going to need 20% more water than brands like Buffalo and Bermuda.
  7. Create a pourous path. Being able to walk through a beautiful garden to see each flowering plant is a green thumbs dream. Instead of having a path that is concrete, choose a material that is going to enable the water to seep through. Underneath the paths, there are roots of plants waiting to be watered. If you do not have a path that is porous, those roots are going to be dehydrated.

As a resident of California, it is our responsibility to do what we can to keep the state from staying in a state of emergency. Low levels of water are going to affect homeowners ability to keep their gardens beautiful, but even more severe, the low levels of water affect the amount of agriculture California can produce. This in turn affects the economy. Which in turn affects job and financial security. If every resident of California did their part in reducing the amount of water used in homes, the affects would be noticeable. Having water seems like it should be an expected, always available resource. But as Californians are now realizing, to have the freedom to use water how and when you want to is a privilege.

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