Best Ways To Conserve Water in Abilene During Severe Drought
The U.S. Drought Monitor have released the latest data on the drought conditions for Texas, and even though there is some improvement, Abilene is still not in good shape.
The map (above) shows that severe (D2), extreme (D3), and exceptional Drought (D4) expanded around the Texas panhandle and surrounding areas. This latest data, coupled with the fact that the city of Abilene is already under stage 2 water restrictions (watering only once every other week), makes conserving water even more important.
So, in an effort to conserve water, here are some ways that will do that and save you a little money at the same time.
Xeriscaping is a method used in landscaping that saves money, work and, of course, water. Other benefits of xeriscaping is that there is less maintenance, you don't have to use pesticides or fertilizers and it actually improves your property value. Basically, xeriscaping reduces the amount of water you have to physically put on your landscaping and gets the most out of natural precipitation. There are 7 principals to think about when xeriscaping. These include planning and design, soil improvements, efficient irrigation, zoning of plants, mulching, turf alternatives, and appropriate maintenance. For more on xeriscaping, check out the links below.
Take Shower Instead of Bath
Showers, especially with a low flow shower head, can save a lot of water and money. On average a bathtub needs about anywhere from 40 to 60 gallons of water to fill it up, and taking a shower only uses about 9 gallons of water per shower, per person. So, take a shower instead of a bath, and, even better, install low flow shower heads to save even more water and money. In fact, check out the links below on where you can get some low flow shower heads.
Turn Off The Water
Whether you are brushing your teeth, shaving, washing your hands, or even doing the dishes, leave the water off until you need it. You would be surprised at how much water you can save by doing this. In fact, for every minute your water is running, that is 3 gallons of water just being wasted. I have done this practice for as long as I can remember. Heck, I remember my Dad always getting on to me for letting the water just run as I brushed my teeth... Dad always knew how to save a buck. If you are washing dishes, instead of leaving the water running to rinse, fill the sink up with water and rinse your dishes that way. If you have a dishwasher, wait until it is full to run it. These small things could save a lot of water and money.
Check For Leaky Faucets, Pipes and Toilets
A small drip from a bad faucet or faucet washer could waste 20 gallons a day. Unless the faucet itself is old and bad, usually if you replace the rubber washer inside the faucet, it will fix the problem. Those little rubber washers are like 3 bucks for a package of 10 or so. If you feel your toilet may have a leak, an easy way to tell is to put some food coloring in the tank. Without flushing the toilet, wait to see if that food coloring appears in the actual bowl part. If it does within 30 minutes, you have a leak. Most replacement parts for a toilet are pretty cheap. I have found replacement parts for as low as 10 bucks and it's all really easy to change out. Another way to make sure you don't have any leaks, is to look at your water meter, and don't run any water for a few hours. If you go back and the meter does not read the same, you have a leak.
Adhere to the Water Restrictions
The City of Abilene have set water restrictions that covers everything from watering your yard or washing your car, to charity car washes and refilling your swimming pool. We can only water once a week and there are some pretty stiff penalties if you do not adhere to the restrictions..some fines up to even $500. The city does allow you to use a drip system or soaker hose anytime you want to. Of course, if you don't care what your lawn looks like, you don't have to worry about any of it. Besides, not watering equals no mowing...at least for me.