Alabama has over 77,000 miles of rivers and streams and has been historically blessed with a general abundance of both surface and groundwater resources. However, recent droughts have emphasized the importance of the conservation of this valuable resource. By practicing some of the water saving tips listed below, each of us can do our part to ensure an adequate supply of fresh water for ourselves and future generations. In addition, water conservation practices will not only help save our water supplies, but it also can save you money.
The following information is provides general suggestions and ideas to use water, both indoors and outdoors, as efficiently as possible.
- Use low-flow toilets.
- Use flow aerators on faucets.
- Take shorter showers.
- Use your dishwater and clothes washer only when you have a full load.
- Do not use running water to thaw meat and other frozen foods.
- Don’t let water run while shaving, brushing your teeth or washing your face.
- Water your lawn only when necessary. It takes 660 gallons of water to supply 1,000 square feet of lawn with 1 inch of water. (This is almost the same amount as you use inside the house in an entire week.) As a general rule, established lawns do not need to be watered more often than every five to seven days.
- Water lawns early in the morning when temperatures and wind speeds are lowest.
- Don’t allow sprinklers to water your street, driveway or sidewalk.
- During dry weather, raise the height of your mower so that you are cutting grass at the highest recommended height. A higher cut encourages grass roots to grow deeper, shades the root system and holds soil moisture better than a closely clipped lawn.
- Avoid over fertilizing your lawn. Fertilizer applications increase the need for water.
- Use mulch around trees and shrubs and in garden beds to retain moisture in the soil.
- Do not use the hose to clean your driveway or sidewalk.
- Use a shut-off nozzle on your hose so that water flows only as needed.
- Do not leave sprinklers or hoses unattended.
- If you wash your car, park it on the grass and use a hose with an automatic shut-off nozzle.
Water Conservation Tips
EPA provides general information on a wide range of water conservation ideas and concepts through the WaterSense program.
The h2Ouse Water Saver Home takes you on a tour to investigate your water saving opportunities in each area of your home.
The Home Advisor Water Conservation Throughout the Home website provides a wide range of ideas and resources on residential water use.
Backyard Conservation shows you how conservation practices that are used on agricultural land across the country to conserve and improve natural resources can be adapted for use on the land around your home.