Water conservation doesn’t have to be difficult or time consuming. There are many ways you can start effortlessly conserving water in your home. Wether you want to reduce your water bill or you’re conscious about the strain on our precious resources, these tips will help you achieve your eco-goals!
The first step in water conservation is to understand your household’s current water usage. Thankfully, the San Diego Water Authority created this online water usage calculator to make determining your household’s water dent super easy.
The online water usage calculator is pretty sweet – it takes only a couple of minutes and guides you through a model home, where you can log your daily water usage in several areas. Be as honest as possible! The calculator will compile all of the data and calculate your annual water consumption. Included is a comparison of your usage versus other homes in your area, as well as tips for reducing water around the house (think: running toilets and leaky faucets).
Knowing your average annual water consumption enables you to set goals for how much you’d like to conserve. Now that we’ve covered that important first step, let’s move onto some water conservation tips!
The appliances in your home could be the culprit of water waste, especially if they are dated. But before you go running to buy all new appliances, check your washer, dryer, and dishwasher to see if anything should actually be replaced. While new appliances can be pricey, you should consider them a long term investment that will add to the value of your home as well as potentially reduce your water bill.
Make sure to only wash full loads: machines made before 2011 typically use up to 40 gallons of water per load!! This is compared to newer models that use an average of 25 gallons less per load. Crazy, huh?
If you have to wash a smaller load, adjust the water for that specific size. Most washers have a function for small, medium and large loads. Newer washers can measure this automatically.
If you’re ready to replace your washer, look for a new washer with the Energy Star label. These machines benefit from advanced technology and use far less water than their older brethren. Energy Star appliances are said to use 50% less water, less detergent and have reduced drying times!
Did you know that dishwashers actually use less water than handwashing? Speaking of handwashing, if you live sans dishwasher, you can reduce water by filling up the sink versus leaving the water running.
If it takes a while to warm up the water in the kitchen, collect the cool water using a pitcher or bucket. Repurpose that water for houseplants, mopping the floor or transplant it into a water filter for drinking.
Check out this list of dishwashers and their water efficiency.
Avoid the pre-washing setting, as this utilizes unnecessary water and you honestly won’t notice a difference in the cleanliness of your dishes. Trust us on this one!
Let’s Talk Toilets….
Lovely subject, we know.
California homeowners with toilets pre 1992 should be replaced. Did you know that older toilets use up to 7 gallons of water PER FLUSH? That’s insane! Replacing your toilets with newer, more efficient versions can save you a minimum of 13 gallons of water per day (that’s if you flush 6 times per day. If you have a family of 3-4, you’re probably flushing more than that).
Keep an eye out for running toilets, as that issue can waste thousands of gallons of water in just one day.
A dripping faucet can waste almost 200 gallons of water per month. You can optimize your faucets easily and affordably by replacing them with faucets or aerators that have the WaterSense label.
Did you know that showers are the third largest water guzzler after washing machines and toilets? The average American shower uses 17 gallons per use, lasts an average of 9 minutes, at an average flow rate of 2 gallons per minute. TWO GALLONS PER MINUTE! That’s a TON of water wasted down the drain… pun intended.
Set a timer! You can save a ridiculous amount of water each time you shower by cutting your shower time in half. Aim for 5 minutes. We know that’s not always realistic, but attempting to be speedy in the shower can save 10 gallons a day, per person, per use. That’s a big deal.
You can also replace your shower head with a more efficient and eco-friendly design that has a better flow rate.
If it takes a while for the shower water to warm up, you can collect the cold water using a bucket. That water can be reused in the garden or for household plants!
Did you read our recent blog post about xeriscape landscaping? You can reduce the amount of water that you use in your landscaping by 50-75% by installing plant life that doesn’t require a lot of water to thrive. Head over to our post about xeriscape landscaping for a list of San Diego native plants that don’t need much water!
Did you know that the San Diego County Water Authority hosts free xeriscape landscape workshops? If you’re interested in learning some xeriscape DIY tips and tricks, check out their upcoming landscape workshops here.
You can optimize your sprinkler system to conserve water. It’s smart to revisit your system, which can be outdated and wreaking havoc on your lawn and water bill. Generous sprinkler systems are a huge factor in large water bills, water waste, runoff, plant disease and unwanted plant overgrowth (weeds).
- Run your sprinklers only at sunrise or sunset
- Don’t use sprinklers during windy days
- Water shaded areas 1/3 less than areas exposed to sunlight
Alright friends, that’s all for now! If you liked this post, give us a shoutout on social media! We’d love to continue to discuss topics that our San Diego homeowners find useful. Don’t be shy- feel free to ask us questions and request topics for our blog! We will be sure to answer any and all of them.
-Deep Rooted Designs