Drought Conditions Still Prevail
For more details about the drought, including links to water-use rules by local agencies, go to WhenInDrought.org
. The webpage also includes a link to the Water Authority’s online conservation portal WaterSmartSD.org
, which offers numerous water-saving incentives, free water-use evaluations, classes on WaterSmart landscaping and a home water-use calculator.
From the National Drought Mitigation Center:
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4 Tips to Save Water in the Laundry Room
- Use the shortest cycle.
- Re-route graywater to your trees and plants. Have a plumber re-route your washer’s graywater to your lawn. Gray water is the wastewater from baths, sinks, washing machines, and kitchen appliances. It is relatively clean and safe to use for watering plants and lawns.
- Match the water level to the clothes level.
- Upgrade when possible. When shopping for a new washer, look for an Energy Star model. Energy Star certified washers use 13 gallons per load, 10 gallons less than traditional washers.
7 Tips to Save Water in the Kitchen
- Soak the pans. Instead of running the water, let the pans soak for 10-20 minutes before washing them. Soaking them will help lift tough residue and make it easier to clean them.
- Thaw meats and frozen vegetables in the fridge. Avoid using running water to thaw frozen edibles. Defrost them in the fridge for 12-24 hours before use.
- Don’t wash dishes by hand. Studies have shown that using the dishwasher saves up to 5000 gallons a year over hand washing. Also, it’s not necessary to prewash. Modern dishwashers are made to handle soiled plates and dishware. Lastly, run full loads, but don’t overload. Overcrowded dishwashers may not be able to clean as effectively.
- Install water efficient aerators. Aerators can reduce your water consumption by 40%. They are inexpensive and easy to install.
- Change the way you wash fruits and veggies. Instead of running water over fruits and vegetables to clean them, wash them in a pan.
- Compost. Instead of running the garbage disposal, which uses gallons of water, compost your food waste. This not only saves water but provides a healthy mulch for your lawn or plants.
5 Tips to Save Water in the Bathroom
- Look for the WaterSense label. WaterSense is an EPA program designed to encourage water efficiency. It’s a voluntary, not a regulatory program. Toilets with the WaterSense label use only 1.28 gallons per flush, 20% less than federal standards.
- Fix leaks. Leaks are hugely wasteful. As much as 10,000 gallons of water a year are wasted due to leaks for households of four. To guard against waste, check your sink, shower, and toilet for leaks and repair them as soon as possible.
- Cut your shower time. Reduce your showers from 10 minutes to five minutes and save thousands of gallons a year.
- Shave in a plugged sink. Don’t let the water run to rinse off your razor. Fill up the sink with enough water to rinse and then plug the drain. You’ll save an estimated 300 gallons of water a month.
- Brush your teeth with the faucet off. Letting the faucet run while you brush your teeth wastes up to 10 gallons of water a day.