Fresh, clean water is a very precious and limited resource throughout the world, and especially in the United States. The population has doubled over the past 50 years, and water shortages are to be expected within the next five. With water becoming an increasingly limited resource, it is more important than ever to conserve water wherever possible.
While inefficient water use can be very costly to a homeowner, it will also have a seriously negative impact on the environment. It is for this reason that water conservation is extremely important. With a significant portion of water usage occurring within the home, many (often simple) steps can be taken to conserve water. These methods range from installing technology to help limit water use, to simple mindfulness about the amount of water used during everyday activities. Here are five tips for reducing the overall water footprint in your home.
1. Take Mindful Showers
It is a fact that taking showers is much more water efficient than taking baths. The average bathtub takes over 78 gallons to fill, which is more than five times the amount of water used during a ten-minute shower. However, showering still uses a considerable amount of water annually. To reduce this amount, install a low-flow shower head. Standard shower heads use about 2.5 gallons of water per minute, while low-flow shower heads use only 2 gallons or less. If installing a new shower head is not possible, taking shorter showers will also have a beneficial effect.
2. Be Conservative With Faucets
Faucets are used frequently during everyday life, but they often run more water than is necessary. Taking simple measures such as turning off the faucet while brushing your teeth or shaving, or not turning the tap on full blast can conserve a great deal of water annually. In addition, installing a faucet aerator can reduce a sink's water flow by 30%. Aerators are better suited for bathroom sinks or utility sinks, since kitchen sinks often use a specific volume for cooking or dish washing.
3. Only Wash Full Loads
Between 15-40 percent of home water use comes from washing machines, with an additional percentage coming from dishwashers. With all of the water that goes into operating these machines, it is imperative to only run them when they are fully loaded; washing on standard settings with an undersized load is incredibly wasteful and inefficient. Additionally, most washing machines and dishwashers have water level settings that can be adjusted according to load size. Using these settings can help conserve water as well, if not as efficiently.
4. Improve Toilet Efficiency
On average, toilets account for the highest percentage of household water use. A single person will flush about 18 gallons of water a day, and this amount only adds up when considering leaks or inefficient toilet tanks. Some tips to prevent wasteful toilet use include shutting off the toilet tank if it runs for too long, installing a high efficiency or dual-flush toilet model, and avoiding using the toilet as a means of garbage disposal. Investing in a high efficiency toilet and/or changing your flushing habits can be one of the most effective methods of water conservation.
5. Find and Promptly Fix Leaks
In total, leaks in the home are responsible for almost 1 trillion gallons of wasted water annually in the United States. The most common household leaks occur in sinks, toilets, and washing machines. Fortunately, leaks are usually very easy to repair if they are detected early, and can save a homeowner a lot of money. Some good advice would be to install leak detection technology in locations that are prone to leaks, or to simply check these locations regularly. Taking the time to address leaks will not only prevent costly water damage, but also drastically reduce your environmental footprint.
Another way to prevent leaks in the home is with DriBot. DriBot is a new home appliance designed to stop the common reasons homes flood and help conserve water through its leak detection, water monitoring, and advanced sump pump system. Find out more about DriBot at www.dribot.com.