Water water everywhere and not a drop to drink…

June 29, 2008

70% of the Earth is covered in water yet 2.5% is fresh water and of that 2.5% only about 1% is readily available for consumption. Earlier today I kept noticing how wasteful many people were with water especially outdoors. Here are a few simple steps you can take this summer to save water:

1. If you have a garden, put a layer of mulch around trees and plants. Chunks of bark, peat moss or gravel slows down evaporation. Saves 750 to 1,500 gallons a month.

2. If you have a pool, use a pool cover to cut down on evaporation. It will also keep your pool cleaner and reduce the need to add chemicals. Saves 1,000 gallons a month.

3. Water during the cool parts of the day. Early morning is better than dusk since it helps prevent the growth of fungus. Saves 300 gallons.

4. Don’t water the lawn on windy days. There’s too much evaporation. Can waste up to 300 gallons in one watering.

5. Cut down watering on cool and overcast days and don’t water in the rain. Adjust or deactivate automatic sprinklers. Can save up to 300 gallons each time.

6. Set lawn mower blades one notch higher. Longer grass means less evaporation. Saves 500 to 1,500 gallons each month.

7. Have an evaporative air conditioner? Direct the water drain line to a flower bed, tree base, or lawn.

8. Drive your car onto a lawn to wash it. Rinse water can help water the grass.

9. Tell your children not to play with the garden hose. Saves 10 gallons a minute.

10. If you allow your children to play in the sprinklers, make sure it’s only when you’re watering the yard–if it’s not too cool at that time of day.

11. Xeriscape–replace your lawn and high-water-using trees and plants with less thirsty ones. But do this only in wet years. Even drought resistant plantings take extra water to get them going. That’ll save 750 to 1,500 gallons a month.

12. When taking your car to a car wash–a good idea for saving water–be sure it’s one of the many that recycles its wash water.

13. Dispose of hazardous materials properly! One quart of oil can contaminate 250,000 gallons of water, effectively eliminating that much water from our water supply. Contact your city or county for proper waste disposal options. And don’t flush prescription medications!

Saving water also saves energy!! About 6.5% of energy used in CA goes towards pumping and treating water.

Sources: Mono Lake Committee, http://www.naturallybeautifulbackyards.org/, http://www.friendsoftheriver.org/

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