5 Methods of Water Conservation: Easy to Implement

Have you ever heard the term “from toilet to tap?”

At first, you might think this is a bit disgusting, but in reality, we’ve been doing this since the beginning of time. What I’m talking about here is water conservation. There are many ways to conserve water. Some can be tedious and even inconvenient, but others are pretty easy to incorporate.

In this post I’m going to share with you 5 methods of water conservation that you can start implementing today, to help with saving water.

My full-time job involves funding the cleaning and distribution of public drinking water. For close to 10 years now, I’ve seen some pretty horrible and nasty things when it comes to public drinking water.

But the current area of concern in the industry is water conservation and how to save water.

First, let’s discuss what water conservation is and how we’re always short of water.

What is Water Conservation?

5 methods of water conservation include taking shorter showers. This will help save water.

Water conservation is the practice of using water efficiently without waste to reduce unnecessary water usage. Simply, this means using 5 gallons of water, when 5 gallons is all that is needed to accomplish the task at hand.

If you use 6 gallons of water, when only 5 was needed, you’re not using water efficiently. This may seem like an innocuous amount of water, but over time and spread amongst the world’s population it adds up very quickly.

Why is Water Conservation Important?

If you have an abundant amount of a resource, there’s no need to be conservative with it. Water is a pretty abundant resource. Just take a look at the oceans on this planet. Freshwater is not an abundant resource. As a matter of fact, it’s getting harder and harder to get our hands on it.

Research shows that 97% of the water on Earth isn’t freshwater. Of the 3% that is freshwater, another 2.5% of it is unavailable. This leaves 0.5% of freshwater available for all inhabitants. And this is what scientists and environmentalists are concerned about.

As a person who uses any fresh water at all, you should be concerned about this too. Imagine going to turn on your tap to get a glass of water and there’s no water. Not having access to water to drink, take a shower, flush your toilet, or clean with is a predicament you don’t ever want to experience. This is why water conservation is so important.

So now that I’ve painted a bleak picture of what life would be like without water, let me share with you some things that you can start doing today to save water.

5 Methods of Water Conservation

The first one is more of a human behavior observation that I’ve picked up while working in the industry.

Use a Water Pitcher

Water conservation strategies include using a water pitcher. It's one of 100 ways to save on water.

1) Use a water pitcher or something similar and keep it in the refrigerator. It has nothing to do with filtering your water, but more with conserving water. When you take a glass out of the cupboard, you usually rinse out the glass before filling it up. Not sure why we do this, but it’s a common human behavior.

This isn’t a lot of water but considering how often you drink a glass of water over a day, week, month, or year, it adds up. Try filling up a pitcher and putting it in the fridge. This way when you go to get a glass of water, you’re not nearly as inclined to rinse it out at the tap and then filling it up. You’ll just fill up your glass and use it.

While we’re talking about tap water, learn to shut it off when it’s not in use.

Turn Off The Tap

2) Whether it’s in the bathroom, in the kitchen, or at any faucet in or around the house, be sure to turn it off unless you’re using the stream of water coming out of it. For example, if you shave, turn off the water every time you rinse off your razor.

Better yet, fill up a shallow basin of water and use it to clean your razor. This will avoid turning the tap on and off, while you shave. This goes for brushing your teeth. Use the water as conservatively as possible.

The bathroom is a big waster of water. There are more practices we can do, to help save on water.

Take Shorter Showers

3) I get it. A long hot shower can feel really good sometimes. But when the average flow rate of a shower is about 2.5-3 gallons per minute (with some of the older models using close to 6), every minute longer you stay in there, is another few gallons down the drain.

I used to take a shower every morning and after every workout. I was easily taking close to 10 showers a week. But after getting an eye-opening revelation about how much water I was consuming; I now do my workout in the morning.

This has cut my shower usage in half. With an average shower time of just under 8 minutes, this saved about 120 gallons a week in freshwater.

Speaking of showers, switch to low-flow showerheads

Use Low-Flow Showerheads

4) The amount of water being used in a shower is measured in gallons per minute (GPM) Low flow showerheads are available as low as 1.5 GPM. Some are concerned with the effectiveness of low-flow showerheads but they improved significantly over the years. If conserving water is of any importance to you, a low flow showerhead is an easy installation that can help save water.

While we’re in the bathroom, the toilet is another area where we can strive to save water.

Use Low-Flush Toilets

5) Similar to showerheads, the toilet is measured by gallons per flush. Since 1994 the maximum of water used in flushing a toilet has decreased from several gallons down to 1.6 gallons per flush. With the average person flushing a toilet 5 times per day, there’s no shock when you find that toilets can account for 33% of a home’s water usage.

Like showerheads, low flush toilets are available. If a new toilet isn’t in the forecast, maybe consolidating flushes throughout the day can be done. After a while, it becomes a norm, especially when you’re conserving water for the greater good.

Another trick I’ve learned while working in the drinking water and wastewater field is placing a plastic bottle full of water in the tank. This will lead the tank to fill up a bit quicker, using a bit less water. This is an economical “lifehack” for using less water.

Bonus Tip: Do Large Loads of Laundry

This one has always been a no-brainer for me. Doing a bunch of smaller loads of laundry is the equivalent of running to the store several times a week vs just doing one big trip weekly. Hopefully, that analogy makes sense.

High-efficiency washers have become commonplace now, as some can use around 50% less water than an older model. But even if you don’t have a high-efficiency washer, doing large loads of laundry will conserve water. It will also conserve on trips to the washer.

There are a ton of other things you can do to help save water. If you’re starving for more, here you go:

More Water Conservation Strategies

  • Install an instant water heater for the kitchen so you don’t have to wait to heat up water
  • Check for water leaks regularly
  • Consider a dual flush toilet
  • Use aerators on all your faucets
  • Don’t use your toilet as a trashcan
  • Let your grass grow taller, and prevent additional evaporation, using less water for watering your lawn
  • Water your lawns in the morning or evening to save on water consumption loss to evaporation
  • Use rainwater harvesting techniques (check local laws on this)
  • Plant drought-resistant lawns and gardens
  • Consider water-saving appliances and devices
  • Dropped ice cubs go in house plants, not the sink
  • Only run a full dishwasher

Wrapping up Water Conservation Methods

The Earth isn’t really running out of water, but we’re running out of freshwater. Municipalities and counties are spending tens of millions of dollars building drinking water treatment plants so that you can brush your teeth in the morning and have access to clean drinking water. There are a ton of things you can do to save water at home. The list above is just a shortlist of things you can do to conserve water.

And if you haven’t looked at your water bill lately, you’ll probably watch it increase over the next few years, to pay for these treatment facilities. Conserving water can help keep the cost down, and keep fresh water available for all to use and enjoy.

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