Here in the Valley, water is cheaper than many other cities. But, it’s not plentiful, so we have to learn to be careful with what we have. Your water bill might not be a big concern to you in terms of the various bills you pay. But, learning to manage your water usage puts you in the position of control. Your water bill won’t be as high as it could be, and you might save money in other ways, too.
Let’s take a look at some options.
In the shower
Think of your shower in terms of minutes to gallons. One minute equals 1000 gallons each year. If you take a ten-minute shower every day, that will add up to about ten thousand gallons per year. So, if you cut that to nine-minute showers, you’ll save a thousand gallons per year.
You can cut that figure by another third by installing a low flow showerhead. A low flow showerhead can reduce your water use by as much as 50%.This is an easy way you can save water.
Bonus tip: Some people use a dot of nail polish on the faucet and one on the fixture to line the dial up at exactly the temperature they feel comfortable with. This means no fiddling with the dial to get the temperature right every day, which can also save money.
At the sink (kitchen and bath)
Turn the water off when you aren’t using it, such as while you’re brushing your teeth or shaving. If you keep cold water in the refrigerator, you won’t have to run it and wait for it to ‘come out cool’, which only happens here in the wintertime, anyway. (As a bonus, you won’t be tempted to buy bottles of water if you get a filtered water pitcher!)
Your dishwasher will use the same amount of water whether it’s full or empty. Running a full load saves your water and energy. Most newer dishwasher models do not need for dishes to be pre-rinsed, either. Learn to load it from the manual to get the most out of each wash cycle. Not only will you make the most of each load, but your dishes will come out cleaner, too
If your washing machine has size levels for loads, use them when you only need to wash a small number of clothes. The second rinse is usually not necessary except for certain circumstances.
Buying Energy Star appliances not only saves energy, but also water, which is something to think about when you need a new appliance. Over the long haul, the savings you reap from these appliances has made them a viable option.
Periodically, you should check your water meter for leaks, especially if you have an irrigation system. If the water level on your swimming pool seems to drop suddenly, that should also be checked out.
If you wash your own car, don’t let the hose run while you soap up the car. A sprayer with an on/off feature goes a long way.
If your water bill is really hitting you hard, you may want to forego the winter ryegrass and use drought-tolerant plant material, ground cover, and flowers. Your plumber can put in low water use fixtures in your sinks and showers, and help find a leak if you think you have one. Together, we can make a difference in water use, to save you water and money, which can add up substantially over time.