Simple Ways to Conserve Water

It would be safe to say that most of us know that we should conserve water. A growing number of people are trying to find ways to do this, not only for environmental reasons, but also to save on the monthly water bill.

Even in places like the Pacific Northwest, where fresh water is plentiful, people often find that it is worthwhile and often necessary to conserve water. Thankfully, there are many simple ways for saving water. Many are so easy, in fact, that nearly anyone can do it.

Lawn and garden

Most people who have lawns or gardens probably don’t want to see them becoming parched and dying. However, watering when the sun is up is an enormous waste of water. As the air temperature increases, more water leaving the sprinkler is evaporated before it has the chance to do any good for the plants.

Watering for a set amount of time just makes matters worse. It may save a little water, but it also encourages the roots to grow shallowly, since the water never has a chance to sink very deep into the soil. The result is that the people waste the water in order to have the lawn still turn yellow or brown.

To conserve water only takes a couple changes in the way the lawn is watered and when it is watered. The key is to water well and deeply, less often, and to water during the early morning hours when the air temperature is at its minimum. This causes the roots to grow deeper, it helps the plants survive the hottest temperatures, it means there is less evaporation so more water becomes actually useful, and since this is done less often, it means that less water is used.

Dishes and clothing

Washing the dishes and clothing can be related to the lawn and garden, because the wastewater, or gray water, can be used for the garden. The plants are usually much less sensitive to the presence of soap than they are to the lack of water. It is senseless to let it run down the drain when it can be useful in another way, thus conserving water.

Dishes should be washed in two basins, one for hot soapy water, then other for hot rinse water. Using running water for rinsing is wasteful, and it can use 200-300 hundred percent more water, to accomplish the same job. Note: the water needs to be allowed to cool prior to using it for plants.

For clothes, do the laundry in smaller loads. It might seem that it should be the opposite, but it really isn’t, and the clothing becomes cleaner in the process. Some people have again run this water out to water the yard or flowerbeds, so the water serves a double purpose. This results in conservation of total amount of water used.

The clothes should also be dirty before they are washed. This may seem like common sense, but it is surprising how many people will put on a shirt, wear it for a couple hours, and while not sweating or doing anything to make the clothing dirty, will take it off and put in the laundry. This is 100% waste. Fold the shirt up, and wear it again. If it then becomes dirty or stinks, that is when it should be washed.

Baths and showers

After installing an energy saving shower head, which is advisable and usually isn’t expensive, plug the tub when taking the shower, and follow this sequence: Get wet and turn the shower off. Lather and shampoo, then turn the shower back on to rinse off. It takes little to figure out that if it takes three minutes to do this, and a person is spending 10 minutes with the water running constantly, otherwise and to do the same thing, seven tenths of the water normally being used will be saved.

This isn’t an uncommon method for campers in unimproved sites, but it works, well. The people often don’t have a lot of water to work with.

A person may wonder about the plugging of the tub when doing this. Even this water can be used on the lawn, flowerbeds, and in the garden. Dead skin cells break down easily, and the phosphates from the soap are often added in slightly different form, to fertilizer. You are not only watering, you are fertilizing.


Most homes have a toilet, and the commode can cause water waste. For one thing, older toilet tanks held a lot more water than needed, in order to flush the device. This is one of the easiest corrections to make. Place a brick in the bottom of the tank, where it isn’t interfering with the operation. This will save the amount of water the brick displaces, every time the toilet is flushed.

Using these tips alone, a family can cut their water consumption almost in half, to far more than half. Many people have, in fact. It is only a hassle until the routine becomes a habit. It is a good habit to have, and for most folks, it even saves them money on water bills. That is a good incentive.

Don’t use the water if you don’t have to, and make it go as far as possible, in as many ways possible. It does make a difference.