Little Changes Can Really Help.
The problem is real and it's in the US
Approximately 10% of homes have leaks that waste at least 90 gallons (about 340 liters) of water per day, according to the EPA. That’s equivalent to the amount of water needed to wash more than 60 loads of laundry in a high-efficiency washing machine.
Another shocking statistic is that in some areas of the United States, up to 50% of residential water usage is for outdoor purposes such as watering lawns and gardens, according to the EPA. This means that a significant amount of water is being used for non-essential purposes, particularly in regions with water scarcity or drought conditions.
How Am I Supposed to Live with Very Little Water?
Living with very little water can be challenging, but it’s possible with some adjustments and conscious efforts. Here are ten things that you can do when water is scarce:
Fix your leaks:
Even small leaks can waste a lot of water, so it’s important to fix any leaks as soon as possible. Check for leaks in faucets, pipes, and toilets, and repair them promptly.
Be mindful of water usage: Be aware of your water usage and try to minimize it as much as possible. Take shorter showers, turn off the faucet while brushing your teeth, and only run full loads in the dishwasher and washing machine.
Reuse Your Water:
Find ways to reuse water wherever possible. For example, you can collect and reuse rainwater for outdoor plants, or reuse “greywater” (wastewater from sinks, showers, and washing machines) for flushing toilets or watering plants.
Switch to water-saving appliances
Consider installing water-saving devices, such as low-flow showerheads and faucets, dual-flush toilets, and aerators, which can help reduce water usage. You can always go a step further and switch to a compost toilet which is a dry flush system, meaning there is no water needed to maintain proper sanitation.
Use drought-resistant plants:
Choose drought-resistant plants for your landscaping and garden, which can thrive with less water.
Succulents: These plants are well known for their ability to store water in their leaves and stems making them incredibly drought-resistant.
Cacti: Like succulents, cacti are also adapted to store water in their stems and can survive long periods of drought.
Lavender: This fragrant herb is drought-resistant and thrives in hot, dry conditions. It also has beautiful purple flowers.
Rosemary: This herb is also drought-resistant and can thrive in hot, dry conditions. It is also a great addition to any garden as it has a lovely fragrance.
Sage: Another herb that is drought-resistant and can survive in hot, dry conditions. Sage also has medicinal properties and is often used in cooking.
Yucca: This plant has thick, fleshy leaves that store water, making it highly resistant to drought.
Agave: This succulent plant is highly drought-resistant and can store large amounts of water in its leaves.
Sedum: This low-growing plant has fleshy leaves that store water and can tolerate dry conditions.
Zinnia: These flowers are highly drought-resistant and come in a variety of bright colors, making them a great addition to any garden.
Hens and Chicks: These succulent plants form small rosettes and can tolerate drought conditions. They are also great for rock gardens or as ground cover.
It’s important to note that while these plants are drought-resistant, they still need to be watered regularly, especially during the establishment period. Additionally, planting them in well-draining soil and mulching around the plants can also help retain moisture in the soil.
Reduce outdoor water usage:
Limit outdoor water usage by watering plants in the early morning or late evening, using a broom instead of a hose to clean driveways and sidewalks, and using mulch to retain moisture in the soil.
Keep a supply of water on hand in case of emergencies or water shortages. Store water in clean containers and rotate it regularly. Remember that even small efforts can add up to significant water savings over time. By adopting water-saving habits and making conscious choices, you can live with very little water while still maintaining a comfortable lifestyle.