They’ve been hard to miss … stories about drought, Colorado River water shortages, and water restrictions in California and other surrounding states. Through actively managed water supplies and the development of extensive reservoirs and underground storage, Arizona has planned for moments like these (see 5 Things You Need To Know Right Now About Arizona’s Drought). But, that doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t be making our best effort to save every drop possible. Saving water is like keeping money in the bank for those rainy … ahem … non-rainy days! Here are four simple ways to not only help our desert community save water but to also help you reduce your water bills:
1. Change your water use habits
Water – Use It Wisely offers 100+ everyday tips, a calendar of local landscape classes, an online landscape watering guide, fun games and contests for youth and more! Take shorter showers, wash with only full loads in your clothes or dishwasher, and please don’t leave the water running!
2. Install water saving fixtures and/or appliances
WaterSense is a product labeling program that helps consumer’s select water-efficient choices (similar to the ENERGY STAR program). For best performance and efficiency, look for the label on toilets, shower heads, faucets and more.
3. Identify and fix leaks
Find and Fix Leaks that are Draining Your Budget will help you find and repair leaks. The average household loses more than 10,000 gallons of water a year through leaks or malfunctioning toilets, water softeners or pool pumps – gasp!
4. Reduce outdoor water use
Up to 70 percent of water use is outdoors, so managing your landscape water use is one of the easiest ways to save water around your home. Watering properly is an art and a science. That’s why we offer a free booklet, Landscape Watering by the Numbers and online interactive guide. Xeriscape principles include ways to have a lush beautiful landscape that saves water at the same time (see our Drab to Fab 10-Part Video Series). Free landscape publications are available from your water conservation office or local nursery and many also offer rebates to remove your grass.
Finally, how about FREE WATER?? Help your plants thrive by putting rainwater to use in your landscape. Capture rain from roofs, driveways, and sidewalks, and direct it to plants through channels or shallow basins. With just one inch of rainfall from a 1,000 sq.ft. roof you can collect up to 600 gallons of water for your landscape. Learn more on our rainwater harvesting page, and don’t miss an upcoming Hydrate Phoenix series taking place during the month of August. The program covers water harvesting, use of greywater, and more!