By: Janie Harris, Extension Housing and Environment Specialist
Edited by: Bev Kellner, Extension Assistant, Texas Cooperative Extension
Water Conservation: How does your home checkout?
The availability of water, now and in the future, should be a concern for everyone. In most areas of the country and most of the time, water has been readily available. The situation is changing. There are constantly new demands on our water supply. Sometimes that supply may be less than at other times because of climatic conditions such as a drought, a disaster, or just a breakdown in the water system.
Conserving water also conserves other resources—energy and money. It costs money to pump water and make it available in our homes, for irrigation, and for business and industrial uses. Energy is required to pump, move, and to purify water. Both energy and money are required to heat water— whether it is the water we heat and use, or the water we heat and waste through poor management practices.
By becoming more aware of your water use habits—both old and new— you can reduce water use (consumption), eliminate waste, and save energy and money.
How much water do you use in a day? A gallon? Do you use 25, 50, or even 100 or more gallons? Few people know how much they use. Studies show wide variation in the amount of water used by rural and urban households. Water use ranges from 66 to 118 gallons per person per day, with urban households using larger amounts.
Imagine what it would be like to turn on the tap and not get at least a drop of water. People in some parts of the country know this does happen. They are learning how to conserve water. They know that water is a limited resource. Water shortages are now a local or regional problem. Some day they may be a national problem. It is wise to learn now how to conserve water.
This checklist is designed to help you see how effectively you are using water, and to alert you to ways to save. Some actions suggested are more severe than others and would need to be implemented only in an emergency situation—and are indicated as such.
As you read this list, check the steps you have already taken to conserve water. Note what you still need to do to become a better manager of water resources. Concentrate on the big water uses first.
Check Out These Websites for More Information
Texas Water Resources Institute http://twri.tamu.edu/
Texas A& M Horticultural Department, Landscape Water Conservation-Xeriscape http://aggie-horticulture.tamu.edu/extension/xeriscape/xeriscape.html
Water Saver Home, California Urban Water Conservation Council http://www.h2ouse.org/
Texas Water Resources Institute Rio Grande Basin Initiative http://riogrande.tamu.edu
Texas Water http://texaswater.tamu.edu
Download a printer-friendly version of this publication: Water Conservation Checklist for the Home
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