Future sustainability relies on home water conservation
If you, like most people, take long baths and clean clothes for granted, you may be in for an unpleasant surprise. According to recent research conducted by NASA, Cornell University, and Columbia University, the Southwest U.S. regions might experience the most severe drought of all times. The study, published in the Science Advances journal, shows that the chances of a prolonged water shortage during the second half of the 21st century are as high as 80%.
Given that a number of states, including California and Oregon, are already experiencing the effects of climate change, the need for an efficient water management plan becomes all the more pressing. As a result, you may have to sacrifice some of your old habits to help achieve water sustainability.
How Can You Save Water in the House?
When you think about water efficiency at home, replacing your old laundry machine is the first idea that comes to mind. An outdated model uses up to 45 gallons per load, while a high-efficiency washer cuts that amount by half. The same applies to old dishwashers as well.
However, the biggest water waster in your house is the toilet. With each flush, up to 7 gallons of water go literally down the drain. Installing a new toilet can be expensive, but you can still reduce the capacity of your existing toilet tank. A popular and effective trick involves strategically placing a brick or a plastic bottle full of sand in the tank.
Finally, another common place to look for water splurge is your bathtub. Opt for a WaterSense labeled showerhead that saves water each time you take a shower. A massive water heater may also cause you to use more water than necessary, so changing to a smaller one will get you out of the tub as soon as the hot water runs out.
Don't Forget the Basement
Most people don't go looking for leaks in the building's foundations until it's too late and the basement is flooded. A routine inspection for cracks and leaks can save you lots of trouble, and you will be able to catch problems early on. Checking your basement once a year should be enough to keep things running smoothly.
Experts over at Murrell's Waterproofing suggest that you not try to seal cracks by yourself, as you might end up using unsuitable material that will fall apart quickly. Instead of creating yet another DIY project for yourself, seek the help of a professional who can guarantee sturdy and long-lasting results.
What About the Great Outdoors?
Gardens and lawns are beautiful to look at, but their upkeep requires more water than you can afford to spend in times of drought. Trees and shrubs, on the other hand, need much less water while still providing you with a beautiful view. Desert landscaping is another stylish alternative for maximum water efficiency.
However, if you're unwilling to give up on your beloved plants, you should set up a home irrigation system to minimize waste. You can also take advantage of rainwater whenever possible. Using rainwater in your garden is not only a sustainable choice, but also a better option in terms of quality than tap water.
There are many ways you can maximize water conservation at home. If you own a swimming pool, make sure it's properly insulated to prevent leaks, and keep it covered when you don't use it to avoid evaporation. Dry-washing your car when needed is also a great idea. Remember that these seemingly small changes will gradually add up to significant water savings.