A drought can have a major impact on day-to-day life. Here are some tips for combatting drought effects by conserving water and energy.

General Tips

  • Follow your local water municipalities’ current water restrictions. Contact your local water authority or utility district for information specific to your area.

  • Energy is produced using large volumes of water, so conserving energy also conserves water. Save energy by turning off lights and reducing the use of the air conditioner when you’re not at home.

In The Kitchen and Laundry

  • Wash only full loads of dishes and laundry. You’ll save water and energy.

  • Use a rubber spatula to scrape dishes clean instead of rinsing with water.

  • Soak really dirty pans or dishes for speedier washing.

  • Avoid using your garbage disposal. Compost leftovers, fruits and vegetables.

  • Prepare food efficiently. Speed clean food by using a vegetable brush. Spray water in short bursts.

  • Don’t use running water to defrost foods. Defrost food in the microwave, in the refrigerator overnight or by placing wrapped food in a bowl of cold water.

  • Reuse clean household water. Collect water used to boil vegetables and/or shower water. Use it to water houseplants.

In The Bathroom

  • Take a shower instead of a bath. Filling the bathtub uses about 50 gallons of water; a shower uses about 20 gallons.

  • Shorten your shower to five minutes.

  • Install a water-saving shower head that uses 2.5 gallons per minute.

  • Think before you flush. Every eliminated flush can save between two and seven gallons of water.

  • Fix leaking faucets and toilets. Test for a leaking toilet by putting a few drops of food coloring in the toilet tank. Wait a few minutes, then look in the bowl. If the food coloring has made its way there, you have a leak.

  • Use a glass for rinse water when brushing teeth or shaving instead of letting the faucet run. An electric razor also saves water.

  • Install a low-flow toilet. Low-flow toilets need only 1.6 gallons per flush, saving thousands of gallons per year. Unlike earlier models, low flow toilets available today receive high marks from consumers for overall performance.