Frequently Asked Questions

Explore some of the most frequently asked questions on ways to save water.

We've gathered some of the most frequently asked questions that can be of help to you as you discover ways to save water and money.

  1. Shut the water off Instead of letting the water run while you brush your teeth, shave, peel vegetables or scrub dishes, turn it off until you need it.
  2.  Shower efficiently Don't run the shower for five minutes to warm it up while you are doing something else – adjust the temperature when you get in. And keep your shower time to five minutes. Turn the shower off if you need to shave or deep condition your hair.
  3.  Install energy-efficient appliances Use an EnergyStar washing machine and dishwasher and only run full loads, or at the very least use the lowest water level setting you need for smaller loads.
  4.  Update your toilet Install a low-flow or high-efficiency toilet to save nearly 2 gallons of water per flush.
  5.  Change your shower head In addition to shorter showers, install a low-flow showerhead, which will also reduce water waste. While you're at it, repair your leaky faucets.
  6.  Plant sense Change your landscaping and house plants to low-water, native or drought-tolerant plants. Then do your watering in the morning or evening when there is less chance of evaporation. Additionally, use your broom instead of the hose to clear debris from your driveway and side-walks.
  7.  Become a flexitarian The food production water usage for plant-based foods is significantly less than that of meat-based foods. A plant-based diet is healthier, too.
  8.  Install a water filtration system Instead of buying bottle after bottle of drinking water, install a water filter and use refillable beverage containers.
  9.  Use a bucket Wash your car with a bucket of soapy water instead of letting the hose run.
  10.  Set up a rain water barrel Collect rain water and use it later to water the garden. Another option is to install a gray water system.
  11. Use biodegradable cleaning products Take advantage of the growing selection of eco-friendly household cleaning products, dish washing soaps, and laundry detergents. Biodegradable products won't pollute the water. For more resources see:

If the entire world’s water were fit into a 4 litre jug, the fresh water available for us would equal only about one tablespoon.
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We have drinking water, Groundwater, Lakes, Oceans, Coasts, Estuaries and Beaches.
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Reuse-Recycle-Reclaim: A practice that extends our limited, finite water resources is, without question, a practice that should be encouraged. Reusing, recycling, and reclaiming water preserves our water resources - our drinking water supplies. The less we use now, the more we will have available in the future. Think of it as a savings account. We all know savings are beneficial and essential for our future well-being.
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Here are a few simple ideas :
In the Kitchen: you can buy bottled water and store it. In the Bathroom: Don't leave the water running when shaving or brushing your teeth. Fill a cup with water for brushing teeth. Stop up for brushing teeth. Stop up the basin and fill with water for shaving. Outdoors: Don't over-water your lawn. Lawns only need to be watered every five to seven days in the summer, and every 10 to 14 days in the winter. A heavy rain eliminates the need for watering for up to two weeks For more resources see:

Top 10 Benefits of Drinking Water: Don't Medicate Hydrate.

  1. Increases Energy & Relieves Fatigue – Since your brain is mostly water, drinking it helps you think, focus and concentrate better and be more alert. As an added bonus, your energy levels are also boosted!
  2. Promotes Weight Loss – Removes by-products of fat, reduces eating intake (by filling up your tummy if consumed prior to meals), reduces hunger (hello natural appetite suppressant!), raises your metabolism and has zero calories!
  3.  Flushes Out Toxins – Gets rid of waste through sweat and urination which reduces the risk of kidney stones and UTI’s (urinary tract infections)
  4. Improves Skin Complexion – Moisturizes your skin, keeps it fresh, soft, glowing and smooth. Gets rid of wrinkles. It’s the best anti-aging treatment around!
  5. Maintains Regularity – Aids in digestion as water is essential to digest your food and prevents constipation.
  6. Boosts Immune System – A water guzzler is less likely to get sick. And who wouldn’t rather feel healthy the majority of the time? Drinking plenty of water helps fight against flu, cancer and other ailments like heart attacks.
  7. Natural Headache Remedy – Helps relieve and prevent headaches (migraines & back pains too!) which are commonly caused by dehydration.
  8. Prevents Cramps & Sprains - Proper hydration helps keep joints lubricated and muscles more elastic so joint pain is less likely.
  9. Puts You in a Good Mood – When the body is functioning at its best, you will feel great and be happy!
  10. Save Money! - Water is FREE! Even if you choose bottled/filtered water, it’s STILL cheaper than that high sugar and fat-filled latte!
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Here are 6 steps to save water in the Kitchen:

  1. Double up. This can mean blanching vegetables alongside boiling pasta, or steaming vegetables while you cook rice. Not only do these techniques save water in cooking, they also save clean-up and time! Try this pasta primavera recipe if you want to experiment cooking vegetables and pasta at the same time. Keep in mind that most vegetables only need a minute or three for prime blanching, so add them into the water after the pasta water has come back to the boil and when there are only a couple minutes left on the pasta timer. They can all be drained together and tossed with sauce of your choice.
  2. Skimp a little (or a lot). Molto Mario might punch me in the face for saying this, but you don’t need 8 quarts of water to boil a pound of dried pasta. You just need enough to cover the pasta.
  3. Just drink it. Save the water leftover from steaming or blanching vegetables to add to homemade stock. Freeze it in a container, adding a bit more every time, then when you’re ready to make stock you’ve got a base already. I love making soups and stews for similar reasons, no water gets “wasted” in the cooking because it turns into delicious broth and everybody wants some.
  4. Reuse. Much kitchen water can be reused to water plants or even pets. Water used for rinsing produce, for example. When I wash heads of lettuce or bunched of spinach, my favorite way is to fill a large bowl with water – not hot, not cold, just, meh temperature – and drop the leaves into it.
  5. Dishes. A trick my grandma taught me is to keep a plastic tub inside your sink while washing dishes. Fill it up with hot soapy water and use that bucket to wash, rather than leaving the water running the whole time.
  6. Recycling. I got into a fight with a boyfriend once about recycling. He claimed that since Texas has more land than water, it was actually more ecological to throw recyclables into the trash (and therefore a landfill) rather than use more water rinse them before recycling.
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Here are 5 reasons:

  1. Without fresh water you will die in just a few days. Plain and simple, no sugar coating, it is a simple morbid fact that helps drive the point across, water equals life. Most of us learn this along the way, so why are you complacent when you see fertilizers, oil and other pollutants pour into rivers and streams each time it rains? Would you eat a fish with some weed killer marinade, or drink water with a nice motor oil sheen on top?
  2. Using less water keeps money in your pocket. By utilizing basic water conservation techniques you are able to save thousands of gallons of water each year. You do the math, use less water and the water company charges you less money. That sounds like a good deal all around.
  3.  Protecting our natural eco-systems from further damage is critical, especially for the survival of some endangered species. The oceans, streams and lakes that are the lifeblood of so many local eco-systems are used as dumping grounds, hurting everything that relies on these water sources. The great pacific garbage patch is a great example of the worst side of our wasteful practices.
  4. Conserving water can also save energy. In order to pump the water from a central facility into your home or office, energy is required to run that equipment. For example, studies have shown that in California alone, 6.5 percent of all energy consumed goes towards moving water from one place to another. So saving water means using less energy which reduces your carbon footprint and helps the country become more energy independent.
  5. For our friends in Florida and other areas prone to sinkholes, water conservation can actually reduce the occurrence of sinkholes. When the natural aquifers run low, it leaves a gap where water once was. Simple gravity pushes the ground downward since there is now a void and voila, you have a sinkhole. For more resources see:

Here are 10 Inspiring Ideas to a Water-Smart Yard:

  1. Compost: You may not think of composting as something that saves water, but when adding compost to your garden or landscape it helps to save water by providing a natural barrier against evaporation.
  2. Mulch: Mulch cools the earth below in warm weather, shields sensitive roots and plantings from the cold in the winter.
  3.  Drip Irrigation: Sprinklers may be fun for the kids but they are certainly not the most cost-effective landscape tool out there…Drip irrigation methods are much more water-smart because they deliver water right to the root zone, where the plant needs it most!
  4.  Rain Chains: Rain chains are considered a great alternative to guttering systems on the sides of the home. Rain chains are meant to slow and direct the flow from rain gutter systems.
  5. Celebrate Water from Your Downspouts: In the past, we have been driven to hide the water and pipe it out of our property as quickly and efficient as possible.
  6.  Rain Barrels: Becoming more common, rain barrels are efficient at capturing rain and storing it for later purpose, such as supplemental water for the landscape.
  7. Rain Garden: Rain gardens are shallow depressions in our landscapes that capture and filter storm water, returning rain to the ground cleaner than when it entered the garden. They typically hold water for 24-48 hours which prevents mosquitoes, are sized to about 1/3 of the roof or driveway square footage and are planted with native plants that can handle both water and drought conditions. Once established, rain gardens are a low-cost, low-management landscape, and will be working for you to provide cleaner water and habitat for our communities!
  8.  Native Plants: Our native plants are adapted to our region and do not require as much irrigation or management as our non-natives, which is a Water-Smart move for your landscape. They are beautiful additions to any yard and also provide food and shelter for local wildlife and can serve as host plants for important species. Native plants can be planted to look “natural” or “formal” and are a great alternative for water-thirsty exotics. Start by replacing a few or introducing some native plant species to your landscape and build on it each year.
  9. Pervious Paving: Impervious surfaces, such as roads, parking lots, rooftops and driveways are a big problem for watershed and stream health because water cannot soak into the ground and ends up traveling over the surface, picking up various pollutants with it and depositing them into our nearby waterways. Pervious paving sounds like a fancy word but it can be as simple as using brick along the driveway instead of concrete, or flagstone paths instead of sidewalks to connect spaces. Pervious surfaces allow water to soak through, impervious surfaces do not.
  10.  Replace the Lawn: The ultimate water-wise landscape! I think of what it might look like to look down a street and instead of a large sea of short Bermuda grass lawns, to see a colorful canvas of native flowers, shrubs and trees along a street side. For more resources see:

Do not open the faucet all the way; open it only as much as needed. Regulating the water coming into the house is the best way to control your usage. ( If you already have a weak water flow at your house, you have even more reason to watch your usage!) - Instead of taking a bath, take showers which use 10 times less water (this saves up to 20,000 liters of water a year).

  • Shampoo and detergents are contaminants. They must be used in moderation and as much as possible opt for biodegradable products. - Keep the shower water running only when you are using it, turning it off while using soaps and other prodcuts. Do not soap up under the running shower, you will be using more soap which will contaminate that water even more.
  • In the kitchen:- Do not wash food under a running faucet. Use a container. Upon finishing, this water can be reused to water the plants. - Never dump oil in the sink. It floats over the water and is very difficult to eliminate, preventing bacterial decomposition.
  • When washing dishes, first wet the dishes and then close the faucet while you soap them. - Think carefully whether it’s really worth it to buy bottled water instead of using tap water. It increases the energy expense in its production and creates future residuals (plastic bottles). Refill bottles with tap water, close and shake them, then open them again to allow the chlorine gas from the movement to escape from the bottle. Keep these bottles in the refrigerator.
  • In the garden:- Always water the plants early in the morning or after dusk to prevent the loss of water through evaporation.
    - Place mulch around your plants to cover the soil and reduce evaporation, this also prevents unwanted plants from growing and it keeps the soil healthier.
  • Water hoses can lie around spilling water. Use a regulator with automatic shut off.
  • Drop irrigation is the most efficient method and yields better savings.
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There's an infographic going around lately that claims to show the relative amounts of water used by four different sources of electrical power: coal, nuclear, natural gas and solar. The graphic claims that solar comes out the clear winner in terms of water conservation, using no water at all to generate power. But is the claim correct? Not quite. The graphic, produced by the "Climate Reality Project," is making the rounds of social media. It's pretty straightforward, at first glance. Coal-fired power plants use up 1,100 gallons of water for each megawatt-hour of power produced. (A megawatt-hour is about what a typical California household would consume in six or seven weeks.) Nuclear and natural-gas-fired power plants use water 800 and 300 gallons for the same amount of power, respectively. And solar, according to the Climate Reality Project, is the least water-wasteful of all four sources of energy, at zero gallons of water per megawatt-hour. On Facebook, the graphic's creators share the news breathlessly, saying "Whoa - you probably know that solar power plants produce electricity without producing carbon pollution, but did you all realize they also save so much water? 'Share' to let your friends know, too!" But is the graphic accurate? That depends what you mean by "accurate." For more resources see:

Here are some numbers you can think about: If all of Earth's water (oceans, icecaps and glaciers, lakes, rivers, groundwater, and water in the atmosphere was put into a sphere, then the diameter of that water ball would be about 860 miles (about 1,385 kilometers), a bit more than the distance between Salt Lake City, Utah to Topeka, Kansas. The volume of all water would be about 332.5 million cubic miles (mi3), or 1,386 million cubic kilometers (km3). A cubic mile of water equals more than 1.1 trillion gallons. A cubic kilometer of water equals about 264 billion gallons.

  • About 3,100 mi3 (12,900 km3) of water, mostly in the form of water vapor, is in the atmosphere at any one time. If it all fell as precipitation at once, the Earth would be covered with only about 1 inch of water.
  • The 48 contiguous United States receives a total volume of about 4 mi3 (17.7 km3) of precipitation each day.
  •  Each day, 280 mi3 (1,170 km3)of water evaporate or transpire into the atmosphere.
  •  If all of the world's water was poured on the contiguous (lower 48 states) United States, it would cover the land to a depth of about 107 miles (145 kilometers). Of the freshwater on Earth, much more is stored in the ground than is available in lakes and rivers. More than 2,000,000 mi3 (8,400,000 km3) of freshwater is stored in the Earth, most within one-half mile of the surface. But, if you really want to find freshwater, the most is stored in the 7,000,000 mi3 (29,200,000 km3) of water found in glaciers and icecaps, mainly in the polar regions and in Greenland.

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The average home goes through about 200 gallons per day.
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196 litres of water are used to produce one egg (60g) – keep yours in the fridge, and if you cook it thoroughly you can use it up to two days after the ‘best before’.

160 litres of water are used to produce one banana – if yours are looking a bit soft, mash bananas on toast with a sprinkle of cinnamon for a delicious breakfast.

125 litres of water are used to produce one apple – keep yours in the fridge, in the loosely tied bag to make it last for longer.

125 litres of water are used to produce a single portion of rice (50g) [2,497 litre/kg] – use scales or a mug to measure out rice when you cook it, and if you’ve cooked too much, cool it quickly, put it into an air-tight container in the fridge and use it the next day.

50 litres of water are used to produce one tomato (250g) – keep yours in the fridge, and if you’ve got too many, puree them and freeze them to use in soups and sauces.

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  1. Inspect. Check your system for clogged, broken or missing sprinkler heads. If you’re not the do–it–yourself type, go with a pro—look for an irrigation professional certified through a WaterSense labeled program.
  2. Connect. Examine points where the sprinkler heads connect to pipes or hoses. If water pools in your landscape or you have large wet areas, you could have a leak in your system. A leak about as small as the tip of a ballpoint pen (or 1/32nd of an inch) can waste about 6,300 gallons of water per month.
  3. Direct. Are you watering the driveway, house, or sidewalk instead of your yard? Redirect sprinklers to apply water only to the landscape.
  4. Select. An improperly scheduled irrigation controller can waste water and money. Update your system’s watering schedule with the seasons, or select a Water Sense labeled controller to take the guesswork out of scheduling.

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These are just a few examples of groundwater contaminants. They cause a variety of health and environmental problems. It is therefore necessary that steps are taken to prevent water pollution.

Barium is used in the oil and gas industries. Small amounts of barium in water can cause stomach irritation, swelling of the brain and liver, and breathing difficulties. Large amounts can cause paralyses.

Fluorine is indirectly used in producing Teflon and Halons such as Freon. It can be found in soil, various rocks, and clay. Frequent absorption of fluorine can cause harm to the kidney, nerves, muscles, and bones.

Nitrate is used in manufacturing ammonia, which is used in the production of fertilizer. It can cause severe health effects like decreased functional levels of the thyroid glands, shortage in Vitamin A, and cancer.

Nitrite can be found in water pipes. It can inhibit the capacity of blood to carry oxygen, thus oxygen level decreases. When not treated promptly, nitrite exposure can lead to death.

Chlorine is usually found in bleaches and disinfectants. When inhaled in large amounts, it can cause respiratory problems or skin and eye irritation.

Sodium is commonly found in alloy structures and soap. It is one of the compounds used in salt. Excessive sodium in the body can lead to high blood pressure and kidney damage.

Sulfur is found in batteries, fertilizers, gun powder, and even detergents. Some health effects of sulfur are heart damage, reproductive failure, immune system damage, and eye problems.

Copper is widely used for electrical equipment. It is usually found in landfills, industrial areas, and mines. Long-term exposure may cause stomachaches, dizziness, and kidney damage.

Zinc can be found in steel, rubber, paint, wallpaper, cosmetics, and plastics. While the body needs a little amount of zinc, too much of it can lead to vomiting, skin irritations and anemia. High levels can lead to damage in the pancreas and respiratory problems.

Iron is considered as the most commonly used metal. While moderate amounts are essential for the blood, it may cause conjunctivitis and retinitis if it comes in contact with the tissue.

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So, for household use - drinking, sanitation, cooking, and bathing - what do you think is the average per person in the United States? How about Switzerland? Botswana? Viet Nam? Water Consumption Per Person Per Day:

United States: 176.5 gallons (668 liters)
Switzerland: 28.9 gallons (109.4 liters)
Botswana: 19.3 gallons (73 liters)
Viet Nam: 39.1 gallons (148 liters)

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  • Lawn Watering Days and Times.
  • Lawn watering is limited to twice per week.
  • Lawn watering days and times are as follows unless your city or county has a different schedule or stricter hours in effect:
    • Even addresses may water on Thursday and/or Sunday before 10 a.m. or after 4 p.m.
  • Odd addresses may water on Wednesday and/or Saturday before 10 a.m. or after 4 p.m.
  • Locations without a discernable address, such as rights-of-way and other common areas inside a subdivision, may water on Tuesday and/or Friday before 10 a.m. or after 4 p.m.
  • Hand watering and micro-irrigation of plants (other than lawns) can be done on any day and any time.

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Know when you'll probably need to do this. Should your plumbing freeze in winter season or if you locate a drip in your home, you will have to stop the water supply to undertake any repairs. Here are some quick steps you can take.

  1. You would also need to cut off the water provide to carry out work for instance changing a faucet or perhaps changing a kitchen sink. Note that the method for turning off the water supply can vary depending on which supply you possess and at exactly what stage you have to cut the supply off. For most jobs throughout the home switching off the supply indoors will be sufficient.
  2.  Turn off the water supply inside
  3.  Shut off all water to your home

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Here are Four examples:

Meteorological Drought: Meteorological drought is defined usually on the basis of the degree of dryness (in comparison to some “normal” or average amount) and the duration of the dry period. Definitions of meteorological drought must be considered as region specific since the atmospheric conditions that result in deficiencies of precipitation are highly variable from region to region.

Agricultural Drought: Agricultural drought links various characteristics of meteorological (or hydrological) drought to agricultural impacts, focusing on precipitation shortages, differences between actual and potential evapotranspiration, soil water deficits, reduced groundwater or reservoir levels, and so forth. Plant water demand depends on prevailing weather conditions, biological characteristics of the specific plant, its stage of growth, and the physical and biological properties of the soil. A good definition of agricultural drought should be able to account for the variable susceptibility of crops during different stages of crop development, from emergence to maturity. Deficient topsoil moisture at planting may hinder germination, leading to low plant populations per hectare and a reduction of final yield. However, if topsoil moisture is sufficient for early growth requirements, deficiencies in subsoil moisture at this early stage may not affect final yield if subsoil moisture is replenished as the growing season progresses or if rainfall meets plant water needs.

Hydrological Drought: Hydrological drought is associated with the effects of periods of precipitation (including snowfall) shortfalls on surface or subsurface water supply (i.e., stream flow, reservoir and lake levels, groundwater). The frequency and severity of hydrological drought is often defined on a watershed or river basin scale. Although all droughts originate with a deficiency of precipitation, hydrologists are more concerned with how this deficiency plays out through the hydrologic system. Hydrological droughts are usually out of phase with or lag the occurrence of meteorological and agricultural droughts. It takes longer for precipitation deficiencies to show up in components of the hydrological system such as soil moisture, stream flow, and groundwater and reservoir levels. As a result, these impacts are out of phase with impacts in other economic sectors. For example, a precipitation deficiency may result in a rapid depletion of soil moisture that is almost immediately discernible to agriculturalists, but the impact of this deficiency on reservoir levels may not affect hydroelectric power production or recreational uses for many months. Also, water in hydrologic storage systems (e.g., reservoirs, rivers) is often used for multiple and competing purposes (e.g., flood control, irrigation, recreation, navigation, hydropower, wildlife habitat), further complicating the sequence and quantification of impacts. Competition for water in these storage systems escalates during drought and conflicts between water users increase significantly.

Socioeconomic Drought: Socioeconomic definitions of drought associate the supply and demand of some economic good with elements of meteorological, hydrological, and agricultural drought. It differs from the aforementioned types of drought because its occurrence depends on the time and space processes of supply and demand to identify or classify droughts. The supply of many economic goods, such as water, forage, food grains, fish, and hydroelectric power, depends on weather. Because of the natural variability of climate, water supply is ample in some years but unable to meet human and environmental needs in other years. Socioeconomic drought occurs when the demand for an economic good exceeds supply as a result of a weather-related shortfall in water supply. For example, in Uruguay in 1988–89, drought resulted in significantly reduced hydroelectric power production because power plants were dependent on streamflow rather than storage for power generation. Reducing hydroelectric power production required the government to convert to more expensive (imported) petroleum and implement stringent energy conservation measures to meet the nation’s power needs.

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Water is a critical resource for human survival. If we fail to conserve water, eventually an adequate, healthy water supply may not be available. Lack of water can lead to dramatic consequences. Water conservation can help prevent local and global problems such as rising costs, reduced food supplies, health hazards and armed conflict.

Shortages: Water, especially the fresh, potable water necessary for survival, is in limited supply. Overuse of water results in shortages. Although water can be recycled, and the supply itself is ultimately maintained through the natural cycle of evaporation, condensation and rain, overuse of water results in an immediate depletion of an area's currently available supply. Although reservoirs and aquifers can be restored, this process takes time, and an immediate shortage can cause dramatic short-term effects.

Conflict: As the world's population continues to grow, so does the demand for water. Without conservation, naturally dry areas of the world will eventually run out of water, forcing the native populations to migrate. This places added demand on other areas of the world, so conflict during periods of scarcity of water or drought is inevitable, according to the Secretary General of the United Nations.

Food Supply:
Beyond providing sustenance for the human body, water is also a critical resource for growing our food supply. The increased urbanization of America has siphoned water from rural areas, where food is typically grown, to urban areas, where the majority of Americans live. The U.S. Geological Survey reports that groundwater levels and storage continue to decline in places like California's Central Valley. Lack of conservation will result in the further depletion of water that can be used to grow food, which in turn results in less food available for a growing population.

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