As much as 97.5% of the world’s water is trapped in oceans and seas and is too salty for human consumption. The remaining 2.5% is in the ice caps, so we are practically dependent on any fresh water, making it an important life resource.

Apart from drinking, we need fresh water for washing, cooking and cleaning. It is also essential in crop, livestock and biofuel production. With the continuous increase in demand, there is a great strain on the supply of fresh water. Plus, summer is just around the corner, and as much as some people are looking forward to warmer weather, others are anticipating the worst drought in living memory as the hot days roll in. Water conservation has become more important than ever, and no matter where you live, everyone has the capacity to contribute to water consumption in and around the home.

Save water in the kitchen

When it comes to wasting water in the kitchen, the biggest culprit is you! Too many people rinse dishes thoroughly before putting them in the dishwasher, which is unnecessary because dishwashers are designed to do this job well. So, the first water-saving trick is to not rinse the dishes, since your kitchen faucet can use up to 3 gallons of water per minute when running at full capacity. Comparatively, Dishwashers with the Energy Star label use between 4 and 6 gallons per cycle. Also, they work more efficiently when fully charged.

On hot summer days, keep drinking water in the refrigerator instead of running the tap until it cools down enough. Designate one water bottle per family member so everyone can easily stay hydrated and cool during the summer heat. You can also install a water sensor on your kitchen faucet aerator to reduce the flow to less than 1 gallon per minute.

Water consumption in the bathroom

Your bathroom is the biggest consumer of water in your home. This accounts for more than half of all indoor water consumption. However, advances in plumbing technology have led to new types of faucets, showers and toilets that use much less water than older models without disrupting the flow.

If you need to replace a bathroom fixture, choose one that has a label showing it meets EPA water conservation standards. Replacing leaky and inefficient faucets with new water-saving aerators can save you up to 500 gallons of water per year. Also replace any old toilets. They typically use up to 6 gallons per flush, while newer models do the same job with 1.28 gallons or less. In this way, you can reduce your bathroom water consumption by an average of 20 percent per toilet.

You should also make an effort to take shorter showers, up to 5 minutes. Turn off the water when soaping or shampooing, and do the same when brushing your teeth or shaving. Replace your old, inefficient showers with smart shower models that are designed to use no more than 2 gallons per minute.

You may have noticed that your drains sometimes get clogged or you have leaks, which may indicate burst or broken pipes. That might mean it’s time to consider relining the pipe. This is a much more convenient and affordable solution than changing pipes. This is a relatively new technology in the plumbing industry. It offers a trenchless pipe lining solution where your leaks or broken pipes are repaired while keeping the underground pipes intact. The pipe relining process creates a completely new and stronger repair point than digging up the pipes would.

Save water outdoors

A lush grass lawn absorbs enormous amounts of water, and homeowners tend to overwater it to keep it green. However, the truth is that a landscaped lawn only needs about 1 inch of water per week during the growing season, so overwatering can do more harm to your lawn, the environment, and your budget.

Start mowing your lawn higher, about 3 and 4½ inches high, because longer blades of grass shade each other and reduce evaporation. You can also reduce the size of your lawn, add areas of mulch, plant drought-tolerant plants or ornamental grasses. Keep fertilization to a minimum as it promotes grass growth. Leave grass clippings on the lawn to lock in moisture and add nitrogen.

Collect rainwater in barrels or install gutters and downspouts to use the runoff to water your plants and trees. Switch to drip irrigation for slow and even water distribution and water early in the morning when evaporation rates are minimal and more water can be absorbed.

In addition to air, water is the most important element for sustaining life. Unfortunately, it is a limited commodity and if we do not manage its consumption properly, the world will soon have a shortage. Conserving water at home using the tips listed here can go a long way toward global efforts that can alleviate this impending shortage.

Best Ways to Reduce Water Consumption at Home

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