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Do you make an effort to conserve water? The problem of insufficient water conservation in response to drought conditions in the community of Diamond Bar should be solved by limiting the amount of water that can be used. In our community there are many ways that we can work together to conserve water. Many options to conserve water can be found in a place where we all know to well, our own homes. A lot solutions don’t require to go much further than your front yard, but there are still plenty of solutions to save water when you go to work, school, or to go out shopping.
You may be asking why is it so important to conserve water, well in addition to helping out your community during drought conditions, you would be saving money on your utility bill, water conservation helps prevent water pollution in nearby lakes, rivers, and local watersheds. Conserving water also prevents greenhouse gas emissions which is linked to treating and distributing water.
Conserving water can also extend the life of your septic system by reducing soil saturation and reducing pollution due to leaks. Overloading municipal sewer systems can also cause untreated sewage to flow to lakes and rivers. The smaller the amount of water flowing through these systems, the lower the likelihood of pollution. In some communities, costly sewage system expansion has been avoided by community-wide household water conservation. If we all work together as a community, during drought conditions and yearound, we will conserve enough water to stay in a better condition for dryer seasons.
To help prepare for a drought and to conserve water, we should start with what efforts we can be making within the home. The home is the easiest to conserve water and free, but there are many options that, while they cost money, can conserve lots of water. Some very easy and free options to consider taking action upon in the household are simply waiting to have a full load of laundry, using the dishwasher only when it is full, using the remaining vegetables as compost for your garden, minimizing your shower time, minimizing the use of a faucet when washing up and cleaning dishes, and defrosting food in the fridge at night. These are all very easy adjustments that can be made not only during drought conditions, but also throughout the year. People constantly look over very simple options and do not even consider many when saving water.
When, preparing to do the laundry, many people tend to just wash clothes when they need them and do not wait for a full load, as may do not want to have to wait a week to have their favorite clothing item ready to wear within a couple days. Not only does waiting for a full load save a lot of water, it also gives you more options to try new clothing items to change up your week and put a little bit of confidence in your everyday life. Other options such as using the dishwasher only when it is full is the same concept as the laundry and saves a lot of water compared to only having it half full. Also, an alternative to using a dishwasher is to fill up both sides of your sink with water, one for washing and one for rinsing, and wash your dishes by hand. Both methods of cleaning the dishes conserves a lot of water.
Lastly with dishes, when preparing meals with vegetables, you can use the remaining as a compost which saves gallons of water and reuse in your garden. With saving water, one room in particular wastes a lot of water. The bathroom’s daily functions waste hundreds of gallons of water annually, with the toilet using the most water in a household, and having long showers, and running faucets falling not too far behind. Just by taking shorter showers and by turning off the faucet when you brush or shave, you are saving hundreds of gallons of water a year. When interviewing my neighbor and asking what efforts she makes to conserve water she stated, “I tend to not save as much water as I should, but some efforts that I do make are by keeping my showers short and turning off the faucet when I am not directly using it.” Small efforts such as this are very easy and are a great start to conserve water, while keeping costs to a minimum.
With all of these options requiring no cost at all, there are still plenty of options, that while they do cost money, save much water and do not change your daily life at all. Some options are automatic faucets that only stay on for limited amounts of time to restrict excess use, or other faucets that only turn on with a motion sensor, which can be used when you brush your teeth or wash dishes. Many other options such as toilets that use less water with each flush, as the toilet uses the most water in a household, or other options such as dual flush toilets to flush appropriately for what goes in, and options such as low-flow shower heads which also use much less water, which again has zero change on your daily living and saves much water. All these options in the household have a powerful impact on water conservation in a community, with added incentives such as lower utility bills, as long as we work as together as a whole.
Saving water doesn’t just have to be within your house, it can be done in your backyard and frontyard with ease and in some cases will also save you money. For starters, all you have to do to start is to make sure your sprinklers are hitting the grass and not the sidewalk, house, or street, this maximizes the use of your water to be sure none goes to waste. With sprinklers, you can even install moisture sensors to only water the grass when it is needed. Also, when watering plants and anything with a hose, an easy adjustment is to do these activities in the morning or at dusk when the temperature is cooler to not waste water in the heat. In addition with the hose, during drought conditions or in general use, it should be used sparingly, such as using a broom to sweep your driveway and porch, which is also a nice little exercise, and using the hose, when washing your car, only for the first and last rinse.
Research shows that hoses, on average, pour up to six gallons of water every minute when left on. With an interview with my neighbor, she said, “I used to just wash everything off my driveway as it was quick and effortless, but as I began to get older I realized a great alternative was using a broom to sweep up the ground, as it gives me some exercise.” Another solution to water conservation is simply letting your grass grow out a couple inches, which provides other blades more shade, which leads to less water needs. Finally, when it comes to saving water, the garden needs little adjustments to help conserve water and help your garden. Small adjustments such as simply, again, watering in the morning and at night, adding mulch to the plants and trees, and being a bit knowledgeable on the root size of plant can significantly help in water conservation. With adding mulch to the soil, it helps reduce evaporation and keeps the soil cool.
Furthermore, a bit of knowledge in root size will help you know which plants and trees require water more frequently. Knowing the your plants have longer roots, you can water them less frequently to save water, and water the plants that have shorter roots on a more average basis. With these techniques applied in your backyard and frontyard, there is hundreds of gallons being saved each year. Not only is this conserving water, but it is also saving money yet again on your electric bill and providing a bit of exercise. With that, there are also many options to explore that, while can cost a bit of money, can improve your yard in different ways. One option is buying a self-closing nozzle for your house instead of having the hassle of turning on and off your water, especially if your hose is extended far from the source. Another option is to landscape your yard depending on the weather, such that using plants that require less water, or one that has a way to store water found in plants like cacti. This option can be a bit more costly, but in the money saved up from your utility bill and a fresh new garden with more diversity as the seasons go on may be a helpful incentive to try this option, as it can also be a fun summer project.
A final option that you can try is going to a commercial car wash that reuses water. This not only saves you the hassle of washing a car, but it is also a more effective way of conserving water as the water that is used to wash your car is simply recycled. This option is a fairly cheap cost that is a great help for the environment. Overall, water conservation in your backyard and frontyard are fairly easy to take care, while saving you money and providing a change up to daily life.
Water conservation isn’t just something that you can do at home, it can be done when you go to school, going out, and at the office. While implementing work or school wide water conservation options can be difficult, having a voice can cause a huge impact in the long run for these places. There are many simple and cheap options to choose from when going away from your house such as buying a reusable water bottle, opting out of bottled water and getting water from a drink fountain at a fast food place, and easily make sure that after you wash your hands to turn the water completely off. Getting a reusable water bottle can cost you under twenty dollars and be reused for years. This economic option also can be used as a way to not only save the waste of hundreds of plastic bottles, but also, the water can be used to water some plants at the end of the day. With saving money and the waste of plastic bottles and water, when going to a fast food restaurant, getting a cup of water is not only free, but saves waste on water and plastic. These two options are not only great for water conservation, as the use of plastic bottles adds up to a waste of water and money, but also fights another issue on excess plastic.
Finally, when going to the restroom, as this can be done anywhere, to make sure that the faucet is completely off as just tiny drops of water left dripping for hours adds up to gallons. As previously stated, there are options that prove difficult, but end in a result that would save thousands of gallons of water. These options can be achieved by speaking up for water conserving options to be made to the workplace, as a recent study showed water conservation is a “Top Five” priority among 99% of business managers. Simply by asking fellow coworkers to brainstorm ideas on how to save water with a prize incentive for the best idea, not only gets people to think of great ideas, but also begins to have them considering saving water in the back of their minds. Options such as replacing old toilets to more water efficient alternatives, installing water-saving aerators on faucets, and easily posting a hotline, to a maintenance worker, to report any leaks or wastes of water.
Replacing old toilets at a workplace saves hundreds of gallons of water a year if not thousands, as unlike the home, over 20 people could be using toilets and flushing throughout the day. Installing water-saving aerators to faucets conserves water by maximizing water efficiency by adding more air to a faucet, and the difference is almost unnoticeable. While these two options can add up depending on how many toilets and faucets need to be replaced, the long run not only is saving a lot of water annually, but it also, as many options have done, saves money by minimizing the amount of water wasted. These are great long term options that is worth trying as no harm is put to you. A final option, but there are many, is posting a hotline. What this hotline does is instead of waiting for a problem to be fixed such as a busted pipe, or not wanting to go through the difficulty of locating a maintenance person, makes life much easier as it is now a phone call away with the number being found in an easy location. While there are many options, these are some great places to get started with saving water when at school, going out for any needs, and helping change a workplace to a water efficient powerhouse.
Water conservation is quite easy with some adjustments to daily life, that in most cases don’t cost a single penny, and can in some cases improve your health and save money. These great incentives show that anyone can save water at any time of the year, but especially during drought conditions. There isn’t much of an excuse as to why anyone can’t start conserving water today and should be as it has a great impact on our community. Conserving water is cheap, efficient, and gives a different pace to everyday life to change up an old routine. With the help of an entire community, starting with an individual with hope, conserving water during drought conditions will become habit and a great change for the future.
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