It's a fact: At least 40 states are anticipating water shortages by 2024, according to figures released by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
Saving water is actually pretty simple. There are many things you can do to conserve water.
To give you a few ideas, we've compiled the following list of 25 EASY ways to save water:
1. Check your toilet to be sure it's not leaking. One simple trick is to put a few drops of food coloring into the water of your tank. If the color begins seeping into the toilet bowl, you have a leak that could be wasting more than 100 gallons of water every single day.
2. Never use your toilet as a wastebasket. Every flush uses 5-7 gallons of water. If you blow your nose, drop your tissue in the wastebasket instead of flushing it.
3. Put a plastic water bottle in your toilet tank. Fil a plastic bottle or jug with water and add some pebbles or marbles. Then place it in the back of your toilet tank. This could save you up to 10 gallons of water every day. (Do a test flush to be sure the bottle is not touching the working parts of the toilet.)
4. Take shorter showers. If you're taking leisurely showers, you could be wasting 5-10 gallons of water every minute. Next time, just limit your shower to the time it takes for you to soap up, shave and rinse off. You can even time your shower with a clock or your favorite song playlist.
5. Install a water-saving shower head or flow restrictor. Local hardware and plumbing supply stores sell inexpensive shower heads and flow restrictors that can dramatically reduce your shower flow 5-10 gallons a minute to just 3 gallons a minute. Even better, they're easy to install.
6. Splish-splash, take a bath. This is a great tip if you need to relax as well. A partially filled tub nearly always uses less water than most showers.
7. Turn water off while shaving or brushing your teeth. You can fill a glass of water to rinse when you brush. When shaving, it helps to fill the sink with a few inches of water to rinse your razor.
8. Check your faucets and pipes for leaks. Even a tiny leak can waste as many as 50 gallons of water every day. Sometimes it only takes an inexpensive washer to fix leaks.
9. Only run your dishwasher or washing machine when you have full loads. Washing machines may use 30-35 gallons of water per cycle. By ensuring you have full loads, you can save water and money.
10. Soak pots and pans instead of running the water while you scrape them clean.
11. Keep a bottle of drinking water in the fridge. This ensures you won't run the tap water to cool it for drinking.
12. Only water your lawn when it needs watering. Don't just use the "set it and forget it" philosophy with your garden sprinklers. These systems don't take into account cool spells or rainfall. You can install a rain sensor on your irrigation system. When you do use the sprinklers, water your lawn enough to soak the roots. A light watering will evaporate and just waste water. Another great tip is to aerate your lawn periodically so water will reach the roots rather than causing runoff.
13. Ensure your sprinklers aren't pouring water down the gutter. It's important to position your sprinklers correctly and fix and broken sprinkler heads. Otherwise, you could be wasting water.
14. Plant native & drought-resistant trees and plants. Native plants require less water than non-native plants and usually don't need irrigation.
15. Use mulch around trees and plants. A good layer of mulch can make your yard beautiful and slow the evaporation of moisture from your garden. It can also help prevent weeds, which compete with other plants for nutrients, light and water.
16. Don't run the hose when you wash your car. Spray it off. Use a pail of soapy water to clean the car. Then use the hose to rinse it off.
17. If you accidentally drop ice cubes, don't throw them in the sink. Put them in a house plant instead.
18. When it's time to buy new appliances, compare water use for the most efficient options.
19. Install water-saving aerators on all of your faucets.
20. Teach little ones to turn off faucets tightly after every use.
21. When the kids want to play in the sprinkler, use it in an area of your yard where the garden needs the water.
22. Reuse your towels. Whether you are at home or staying in a hotel, you can use your towels three times before washing them.
23. Reduce the amount of lawn in your yard by planting Washington native shrubs and ground covers. Also, avoid planting grass in locations that are hard to water, such as steep inclined and isolated areas along driveways and sidewalks.
25. Collect water from your roof. Install gutters and downspouts that direct the runoff to plants and trees.