10 Things You Can Do To Conserve Water Outdoors
- Use a Hose Timer
A hose timer connects to your outside tap and turns off your sprinklers automatically after a set amount of time. Watering too much is one of the major ways your community uses water. A hose timer or rain sensor can significantly reduce the amount of water you use.
- Let Grass Grow
Let grass grow to a height of 2 1/2 centimetres. Taller grass shades new growth and reduces evaporation.
- Say No to Nitrogen
Using high-nitrogen fertilizers require a lot of water in order for them to work, and they only temporarily stimulate new growth.
- Say Yes to Organics
In place of nitrogen, top-dressing lawns annually with compost or high-quality topsoil will increase nutrients in the soil and improve its water-holding capacity.
- Use Grass Clippings
Grass clippings are a valuable organic source of nutrients, especially nitrogen, so leave them on the lawn.
Lawns can become compacted over time. Aerating removes cores of soil and turf from the lawn, allowing water, nutrients and oxygen to penetrate the soil.
- Avoid Evaporation
Water over smaller areas: When a sprinkler is set to cover a large area, up to half the water could be lost to evaporation before it even hits the ground.
Mulch acts as a protective cover around plants. It keeps soil cool and moist and discourages weed growth. Organic mulches such as straw, leaf, bark or wood chips work best. Avoid rocks as they retain heat, increasing the need for water.
- Reduce Turf Areas
Replace water-thirsty grass with decking or mulched gardens of drought-tolerant plants.
- Plant Wisely
Group plants according to their watering needs. Consider plant species that are indigenous to the area. They have adapted to local climate conditions and require little water to grow.
10 Things You Can Do To Conserve Water Indoors
- Install a Low-flow Toilet
Toilets are the biggest water users in the home. Replacing old, water-guzzling toilets with newer, efficient models can save as much as 25 per cent.
- Drip, Dribble, Drool
Dripping taps waste a lot of water. Turn off taps tightly and make sure they don't leak. If your toilet "hisses" when it's not in use, it might have a leak between the tank and the bowl. To find out, put a drop of food colouring in the toilet tank and wait a few minutes. If, without flushing, the colour starts to appear in the bowl, you have a leak.
- Install Faucet Aerators
Aerators mix air with water, reducing the flow by about six litres per minute while still maintaining pressure.
- Turn off the Tap
Turn off the tap when brushing your teeth and shaving.
- Install Low-flow Shower Heads
Reduce water use and save on the cost of heating water by installing a low-flow shower head with an adjustable spray.
- Have Shorter Showers
Put a timer in the bathroom and set it for five minutes. When it goes off - time's up!
- Be Water Smart With Your Dishwasher
Run your dishwasher only when it's full. If you only have a few dishes to wash, it's more efficient to wash them by hand.
- Don't Flush Garbage
Flushing garbage is a waste of water. Instead, use a garbage can and compost when possible.
- Install an Efficient Washing Machine
These use 40 per cent less water and 50 per cent less energy than traditional machines. They also spin out more moisture than traditional washing machines, so less energy is required to dry clothes.
- Learn the Levels
If your washing machine allows, set the water level so it's appropriate for different-sized loads.