As summer and warm-weather activities heat up, it may be tempting to leave the water running to keep yourself and your lawn cool. However, as seen on the West Coast, droughts rob communities of the rain or snow that replenishes their much-needed water supplies, so saving water for the future becomes more important than ever.
Drought may not be an issue in your region right now, but water shortages strike different areas at different times of the year, so saving water is always in season! Wherever you live, make it a water-savvy summer with the following tips:
• Take a sprinkler break. Grass doesn’t have to be bright green year-round. It’s natural for it to turn a little brown at the tips during summer’s hottest months. You can cut back on watering and maintain a healthy lawn, so skip that shower for your landscape. For every 20-minute watering session missed, you could save 2,500 gallons of water or more!
• Consider an upgrade. If you’re thinking about a bathroom update, now is a good time to replace old plumbing fixtures with water-saving models. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s WaterSense® program labels toilets, faucets and showerheads that have been independently certified to perform well and use less water and energy than the standard ones.
• Follow the rules. When in drought, your community may need to enforce temporary water restrictions to save limited supplies for those who need it most, including firefighters, hospitals and utilities. Respect requests to use less water on your lawns, cars and other outdoor uses during water shortages.
• Go the extra mile. If you want to go above and beyond, you can collect water in a bucket while waiting for the shower to warm up or when washing pots, and use it to water container plants or flower beds. Use your imagination to come up with creative ways to save water or visit www.epa.gov/watersense/our_water/drought.html.
In the future, consider landscaping with plants that are suited to your area’s climate and use less water. Learn more at www.epa.gov/watersense/outdoor/landscaping_tips.html. And if you live in a drought-prone area and already gave your landscape a makeover with plants that use less water, post a photo to Instagram or Twitter using the hashtag #watersavingyard to show your friends and neighbors how beautiful a drought-tolerant yard can be.
NORTH AMERICAN PRECIS SYNDICATE