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Simple Ways to Save Water

written by: JenniferB•edited by: Donna Cosmato•updated: 8/3/2010

Water use is out of control in both domestic and industrial uses. What's the good news? Conserving water is easy! Follow these easy guidelines.

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    Cut Water Waste

    When considering water use, it’s necessary to consider the industrial and domestic consumptions. Industries related to chemical, paper and pulp, oil and food processing use the majority of water in the industrial field. Domestically, flushing toilets is the single largest use of domestic water. In developing counties, however, over half of the water supplied in the world’s largest cities is lost to leakage of water mains, pipes, pumps and valves. This loss even occurs in the United States, where these losses range from 10-30%. Experts recommend that fixing these leaks should be a priority around the globe.

    Thankfully, there are many solutions for reducing water waste in homes, businesses and even industry. Here are some simple steps:

    • Invest in redesigning manufacturing processes to use less water.
    • Find ways to recycle water in industrial uses.
    • Incorporate plants that require little water in landscaping.
    • Use drip irrigation.
    • Seek out and fix water leaks.
    • Turn off faucets when brushing teeth or shaving.
    • Use water meters to track usage.
    • Raise water prices.
    • Use waterless composting toilets.
    • Support legislation to require water conservation in cities that routinely experience water shortages.
    • Use water-saving toilets, showerheads and front loading clothes washers
    • When washing clothes, wash only full loads on the lowest possible water-level setting.
    • Find a car wash that reuses water and if you are washing at home, use a bucket of soapy water instead of a hose.
    • Collect and reuse household water to irrigate lawns and non-edible plants. Water in the early mornings and early evenings.
    • Purify and reuse water in homes, apartment buildings and office buildings.

    While some of these approaches may seem a bit out there, many homeowners and businesses in areas that experience water shortages are implementing these same steps. Drip irrigation, using native plants in landscaping in place of grass (xeriscaping), reduces water use significantly in these areas while also reducing the use of fertilizers, fuel, air pollution and yard wastes.

    Also, many homeowners are reusing water that is only slightly dirtied from bathtubs, showers, sinks, dishwashers and washing machines by storing it in a holding tank that purifies and recycles the water.