Click here for Water Conservation and Drought Contingency Plans
Why is water conservation important?
Water supplies are strained by growing populations and increasing demand. Each year, Texans spend more than one billion dollars on new or expanded water supply and wastewater treatment facilities. Water conservation not only saves money on your monthly water bill, it also minimizes future water problems and costs.
INDOOR WATER USE
You use water in your home for a variety of things – drinking, cooking, bathing, flushing toilets and washing dishes and clothes. Although these things are necessary, there are some simple, cost-effective things you can do to conserve water in your home.
- Check toilets for leaks. Drop a little food coloring in your toilet tank. If, without flushing, the coloring begins to appear in the bowl, you’ve got a leak.
- Check faucets for leaks.
- Avoid unnecessary flushing.
- If you don’t have a low-flow toilet, put a plastic bottle in your toilet tank. Put an inch or two of sand in the bottle to weigh it down and fill it with water. Place it in your toilet tank away from the operating mechanisms. This can save 10 gallons of water a day.
- Take shorter showers and install water-saving shower heads. Most shower heads put out five to 10 gallons of water per minute. A water-saving shower head can use less than three gallons per minute.
- Turn off the water while brushing your teeth and shaving.
- Use your washing machine and dishwasher only for full loads. Your dishwasher uses about 25 gallons of water each time it runs; your washing machine uses 30 to 35 gallons a cycle.
OUTDOOR WATER USE
- More water is used outside during the summer months — we water our lawns, wash our cars and fill our pools. In the summer, water utilities’ usage increases as much as 250 percent in average daily consumption. Some tips for conserving:
- Water once every five days. This encourages deeper, more drought-tolerant roots.
- If it rains an inch or more, wait at least five days to water. And, never water while it’s raining (adjust your automatic sprinkler system).
- Use mulch around plants and trees. This helps retain moisture and reduce evaporation.
- When washing your car, use a cut-off nozzle instead of running the hose constantly. This will save eight gallons of water per minute.
- Consider using drought-resistant trees and plants in your yard and garden.