Although 70% of our planet is covered by water, only 2.5% of it is fresh water. 70% of the available freshwater is in the form of ice and snow. This makes water conservation the need of the hour, both to meet the demands of the growing world population and to compensate for water shortages caused by various factors like erratic rainfall, global warming, and so on.
Never flush wastewater down the drain or toilet. This water can be reused for purposes such as watering the plants, the lawn or for various cleaning purposes.
Conduct a thorough check of all pipes and faucets in your house. One way to identify if you are having any water leakage is to watch the water meter over a period of two hours while no water is being used. This will tell you whether any water is being wasted due to leakages.
Repair dripping faucets by replacing washers in the faucets. A faucet that leaks at the rate of one drip per second can lead to a loss of 2700 gallons per year. This adds to the overall cost of water that is being consumed. Such leakages will also be a strain to the septic system of your house.
An easy way to check if your toilet tanks are leaking is to add food coloring or a colored disinfectant to the tank. You will notice colored streaks after half an hour after you add the food coloring to the tank. If colored water leaks from anywhere in the tank, the source can be easily traced and fixed.
Avoid flushing your tank too many times. Use a bucket of water to flush the toilet or ensure that you have a low flow toilet. This will help you ration water that is being used.
Use low flow showerheads to conserve water and try to take shorter showers. Some showerheads will allow you to stop the flow of water by twisting the showerhead itself and does away with the hassle of blindly groping for the taps, saving precious water in the process. However, when done, remember to turn off the faucets to prevent any leaks. If using a bathtub, check to see that the drain is plugged before opening the tap and then fill the tub with 1/3rd the amount of water.
Install aerators and flow restrictors on all faucets that are used regularly. This will ensure that water is not wasted due to fluctuations in water pressure or negligence. Always remember to turn off the faucet while shaving or brushing your teeth. Try to shave using a mug of hot water instead of filling the entire basin and draining it after you are done. This way you will economize on the water you use.
Use washing machines or dishwashers only on a full load so that washing is done in an efficient manner. If you are forced to wash on a load that does not utilize the full capacity of the machine, ensure that the correct water level setting is used.
When washing by hand and where two sinks are available, fill one sink with soapy water and use a low flow faucet sparingly to quickly rinse utensils in the other.
Never use running water to defrost food, instead use your refrigerator’s defrost setting or the microwave to do this. Fix an instant water heater for your faucets to allow you to get instant hot water instead of letting the water run while it warms up.
Use an air-to-air heat pump instead of water to air conditioning system. The former is more economical when it comes to saving water and just as efficient.