Across America, many of us are experiencing extremely dry conditions due to an exceptionally warm year paired with a lack of precipitation. The news and weather stations have been bombarding us with stories about the drought and what it can mean for our wallets and lifestyles.
While there isn’t much we can do to prevent extremely dry conditions, there are definitely actions we can take to understand them and circumvent a water shortage.
Here are three commonly asked questions about these topics, answered and explained.
1) What Are Droughts & Why Do They Occur?
Droughts mean different things whether you are a hydrologist, farmer or meteorologist. However, they usually have to do with a period of dryness that occurs because less moisture is present than is normal for an area. Some causes could be that precipitation has been less consistent than usual for the season or year. Extremely hot/sunny weather can exacerbate the conditions in some areas, too.
Typically, plants will die and the soil will dry out as a result of a drought. Also, lakes, rivers and other waterways could become shallower or even dry up completely in some cases. Sometimes our drinking water supplies, well water and/other other municipal water services can become compromised in terms of quality and quantity when there is a severe drought.
2) What Are Some Inexpensive Ways to Save Water in My Home?
It is really smart to start asking how to save water in times of drought – or even before these conditions set in. Luckily, there are a lot of ways that you can conserve without even spending a lot of money.
One thing to do is simply turn the faucets off when you aren’t using them. This can mean turning it off while lathering up in the shower, or only wetting your toothbrush beforehand instead of letting the tap run throughout the whole teeth-brushing process.
Another helpful tip is to fix any drips or appliances that may have issues that cause them to leak. Simply replacing the washers on your faucets can stop wasteful drips in their tracks. If your toilet runs for a long time after use, get the handle replaced or repaired if necessary.
You can also reuse wastewater whenever possible.
3) Can I Invest in Anything to Conserve Water More Easily From Now On?
Yes, there are absolutely some devices that can make a huge difference in the amount of H2O consumed in your household. The bathroom and kitchen are two of the main places where liquid can be lost through inefficient appliances. Simply replacing your current latrines with ultra high efficiency toilets that use about 0.8 gpf (or gallons per flush) can make a big positive change and lower your water use and monthly bills.