How can homeowners conserve water?

July 11, 2017

Water is an important resource, and many homes unfortunately use more of it than they might realize. As such, it's vital to consider the ways families can cut their water use to not only "go green," but also save a little bit of money at the same time.

There are many ways the average homeowner wastes water that they may not even realize, and in fact some methods they may think can save water actually use more than some might expect, according to the Charles River Watershed Association. For instance, running a dishwasher only when it's absolutely full won't keep dishes from getting clean, but it will save water quickly and easily. And for those who hand-wash their dishes it's vital to turn off the tap while doing so as a means of really saving water. The same is true of brushing teeth and shaving.

What about outside?
There are also many ways to save water and get a healthier lawn simultaneously, which some may not expect. For instance, the best time to water a lawn isn't in the middle of the day, because that leads to evaporation. Instead, watering when the sun is just starting to rise or set will give grass the best chance to absorb as much water as possible. Most people also water their lawns more than is necessary to keep the grass healthy.

Furthermore, when mowing that lawn, there are also several ways to keep it nice and green and water-friendly simultaneously. For instance, leaving grass clippings on the lawn after cutting it will provide more shade and nutrients for the remaining grass. But at the same time, it's important to keep in mind that many homeowners also cut their lawns too short, making them grass capable of absorbing as much water as they're putting down.

Another way to water
In addition, because many homeowners love to cultivate their own gardens, water can be wasted here as well, according to the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner. Instead of going around the garden with a watering can or spraying hose, sometimes multiple times a day, it might be wise to install a drip irrigation system. Not only can this save time - because it doesn't require gardeners to physically go water the plants every day - but it can also reduce water costs and potentially yield better crops.

Of course, drip irrigation systems cost money and a bit of time to set up, but typically offer a significant return on investment over time, and usually only cost about $60 to begin with. Moreover, because many modern drip systems operate on timers, they can be set to operate any time that's convenient for a homeowner, rather than having to be turned on and off each day.

In general, it's a good idea to use common sense when looking at ways to save water. Most families probably know when they have a little wiggle room to cut their shower times, or find other ways to reduce consumption around the house. All it might take is a little more effort, and families may end up benefiting significantly.