Ev­ery pre­cious drop of water counts

Matamata Chronicle - - News -

We can’t take our fresh­wa­ter re­sources for granted.

There are loads of things you can do around the home to help save water this sum­mer:

1. When wash­ing dishes by hand, don’t let the water run while rins­ing. Fill one sink with wash water and the other with rinse water.

2. Some re­frig­er­a­tors, air con­di­tion­ers and ice-mak­ers are cooled with wasted flows of water. Up­grade to air- cooled ap­pli­ances for sig­nif­i­cant water sav­ings.

3. Shorten your shower by a minute or two and you’ll save up to 680 litres per month. 4. Bathe your young chil­dren to­gether. 5. Ad­just sprin­klers so only your lawn is wa­tered and not the house, side­walk, or street.

6. Wash your car on the lawn, and you’ll water your lawn at the same time.

7. Run your wash­ing ma­chine and dish­washer only when they are full. You can save up to 4540 litre per month.

8. Turn off the water while you wash your hair to save up to 650 litres a month.

9. Wash your pets out­doors in an area of your lawn that needs water.

10. Choose shrubs and ground­cov­ers in­stead of turf for hard-to-water ar­eas such as steep slopes and iso­lated strips.

11. In­stall cov­ers on pools and spas and check for leaks around your pumps.

12. In­su­late hot water pipes for more im­me­di­ate hot water at the faucet and for en­ergy sav­ings.

13. Use the garbage dis­posal spar­ingly. Com­post veg­etable food waste in­stead and save litres ev­ery time.

14. For cold drinks keep a bot­tle of water in the re­frig­er­a­tor in­stead of run­ning the tap. This way, ev­ery drop goes down you and not the drain.

15. Turn off the water while you shave and save up to 1350 litres a month.

16. When you give your pet fresh water, don’t throw the old water down the drain. Use it to water your trees or shrubs.

17. If you ac­ci­den­tally drop ice cubes when fill­ing your glass from the freezer, don’t throw them in the sink. Drop them in a house plant in­stead.

18. Keep a bucket in the shower to catch water as it warms up or runs. Use this water to flush toi­lets or water plants.

19. When you are wash­ing your hands, don’t let the water run while you lather.

20. To save water and time, con­sider wash­ing your face or brush­ing your teeth while in the shower.

21. Water your lawn and garden in the morn­ing or evening, when tem­per­a­tures are cooler, to min­imise evap­o­ra­tion.

22. Wash your fruits and veg­eta­bles in a pan of water in­stead of run­ning water from the tap.

23. Spread­ing a layer of or­ganic mulch around plants re­tains mois­ture and saves water, time and money.

24. Use a broom in­stead of a hose to clean your drive­way and side­walk and save water ev­ery time.

25. If your shower fills a 20 litre bucket in less than 20 sec­onds, re­place the show­er­head with a water-ef­fi­cient model.

26. Col­lect the water you use for rins­ing fruits and veg­eta­bles, then re­use it to water house­plants.

27. If water runs off your lawn eas­ily, split your wa­ter­ing time into shorter pe­ri­ods to al­low for bet­ter ab­sorp­tion.

28. We’re more likely to no­tice leaks in­doors, but don’t for­get to check out­door faucets, sprin­klers and hoses for leaks.

29. If you have an au­to­matic re­fill­ing de­vice, check your pool pe­ri­od­i­cally for leaks.

30. Check the root zone of your lawn or garden for mois­ture be­fore wa­ter­ing, us­ing a spade or trowel. If it’s still moist 50 mil­lime­tres un­der the soil sur­face, you still have enough water.

31. When buy­ing new ap­pli­ances, con­sider those that of­fer cy­cle and load size ad­just­ments. They’re more water and en­ergy ef­fi­cient.

32. Use the half flush on the toi­let or con­sider up­grad­ing older toi­lets to dual flush models.

33. Ad­just your lawn mower to a higher set­ting. A taller lawn shades roots and holds soil mois­ture bet­ter.

34. When clean­ing out fish tanks, give the nu­tri­ent-rich water to your plants. 35. Water by hand to avoid waste. 36. Put food colour­ing in your toi­let tank. If it seeps into the toi­let bowl with­out flush­ing, you have a leak. Fix­ing it can save up to 4540 litres a month.

37. When run­ning a bath, plug the tub be­fore turn­ing the water on, then ad­just the tem­per­a­ture as the tub fills up.

38. Walk­ways and pa­tios pro­vide space that doesn’t ever need to be wa­tered. Th­ese use­ful ‘‘rooms’’ can also add value to your prop­erty.

39. Col­lect water from your roof to water your garden.

40. Des­ig­nate one glass for your drink­ing water each day or re­fill a water bot­tle. This will cut down on the num­ber of glasses to wash.

41. Rather than fol­low­ing a set wa­ter­ing sched­ule, check for soil mois­ture 50 to 75 mil­lime­tres be­low the sur­face be­fore wa­ter­ing.

42. In­stall a rain sen­sor on your ir­ri­ga­tion con­troller so your sys­tem won’t run when it’s rain­ing.

43. Don’t use run­ning water to thaw food. De­frost food in the re­frig­er­a­tor.

44. Use drip ir­ri­ga­tion for shrubs and trees to ap­ply water di­rectly to the roots where it’s needed.

45. Grab a wrench and fix that leaky faucet. It’s sim­ple, in­ex­pen­sive, and you can save 500 litres a week.

46. Re­duce the amount of lawn in your yard by plant­ing shrubs and ground cov­ers ap­pro­pri­ate to your site and re­gion.

47. When do­ing laun­dry, match the water level to the size of the load.

48. Teach your chil­dren to turn off taps tightly af­ter each use.

49. Re­mem­ber to check your sprin­kler sys­tem valves pe­ri­od­i­cally for leaks and keep the sprin­kler heads in good shape.

50. Use a water-ef­fi­cient show­er­head. They’re in­ex­pen­sive, easy to in­stall, and can save you up to 3500 litres a month.

51. Soak pots and pans in­stead of let­ting the water run while you scrape them clean.

52. Don’t water your lawn on windy days when most of the water blows away or evap­o­rates.

53. Water your plants deeply but less fre­quently to en­cour­age deep root growth and drought tol­er­ance.

54. Know where your master water shut­off valve is lo­cated. This could save water and pre­vent dam­age to your home.

55. To de­crease water from be­ing wasted on slop­ing lawns, ap­ply water for five min­utes and then re­peat two to three times.

56. Group plants with the same wa­ter­ing needs to­gether to avoid over­wa­ter­ing some while un­der­wa­ter­ing oth­ers.

57. Use a layer of or­ganic ma­te­rial on the sur­face of your plant­ing beds to min­imise weed growth that com­petes for water.

58. Use a min­i­mum amount of or­ganic or slow re­lease fer­til­izer to pro­mote a healthy and drought tol­er­ant land­scape.

59. Trick­ling or cascading foun­tains lose less water to evap­o­ra­tion than those spray­ing water into the air.

60. Use a com­mer­cial car wash that re­cy­cles water.

61. Avoid recre­ational water toys re­quire a con­stant flow of water.

62. Turn off the water while brush­ing your teeth and save 100 litres a month.

63. Use a rain gauge, or empty can, to track rain­fall on your lawn. Then re­duce your wa­ter­ing ac­cord­ingly.

64. En­cour­age your school to pro­mote water con­ser­va­tion among chil­dren and adults.

65. Set a kitchen timer when wa­ter­ing your lawn or garden to re­mind you when to stop. A run­ning hose can dis­charge up to 50 litres a minute.

66. Next time you add or re­place a flower or shrub, choose a low wa­teruse plant for year-round colour.

67. In­stall an in­stant water heater near your kitchen sink so you don’t have to run the water while it heats up. This also re­duces en­ergy costs.

68. Use a crayon to mark the water level of your pool at the skim­mer. Check the mark 24 hours later to see if you have a leak.

69. If your dish­washer is new, cut back on rins­ing. Newer models clean more thor­oughly than older ones.

70. Use a trowel, shovel, or soil probe to ex­am­ine soil mois­ture depth. If the top 50 to 75 mil­lime­tres of soil are dry it’s time to water.

71. If in­stalling a lawn, se­lect a turf mix or blend that matches your cli­mate and site con­di­tions.

72. When the kids want to cool off, use the sprin­kler in an area where your lawn needs it the most.

73. Make sure your swim­ming pools, foun­tains, and ponds are equipped with re­cir­cu­lat­ing pumps.

74. Con­sult a nurs­ery about plant se­lec­tion and place­ment.

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