It has become a bit of a cliché as it has been said so many times – water is one of the most precious resources to sustain life on earth. In 20thcentury, the world’s population rate has tripled and the water consumption increased at twice at the same rate.
The problem with water overconsumption these days have lead to energy shortages, food shortages, economic slowdown, increased in global conflict and lack of access to clean water that could affect millions of people. Factors like urbanization trend cause groundwater crisis up to its peak point – So, what should we do?
Fortunately, there are countless ways to conserve water in a household. From fixing leaky pipes, cutting down showering time, going with the low-flow, switching to eco-setting, and so on. In the long run, you might want to consider opting for water-saving renovations for your home.
Are you looking for different ways to conserve energy and water for your home? Lucky for you because in this article let’s tackle the different simple, effective yet inexpensive water-saving home renovation for your next project.
1. Fix leaking pipes and faucets
If your home has hidden leaks on pipes or faucets, the chances are, it can ruin the interior of your home or even flood your lawn or garden. A leak can be indicated by inconsistent or inaccurate water meter reading. You can check the water meter for a consequent 2-hour period when the water is not being consumed or use.
Water leaks could not only be detected through false water meter readings, obvious signs like damp walls, pavement cracks, noticeable water pressure drop, excess mold formation, and unusually high water bills. If this happens, you might want to consider hiring a professional plumbing contractor that is capable of repairing leaks or installing new faucets.
Water saved per year: 3,000 gallons
Cost Range: $65-$150
2. Switch to Energy Efficient Appliances that Use Water
The good news is that most new appliances are energy and water efficient so it’s not hard to find water-conservation appliances.
- Replacing old appliances with new models that are energy efficient will surely save you thousands of gallons of water.
- For example, installing a new shower head is typically inexpensive as some of the new models could deliver 2.5 gallons of water per minute. Purchasing a low flow or dual flush toilet will also reduce the load on your septic system, thus, extending its functionality lifespan.
- If you’re opting for a dual flush toilet system, you can for up to 67% of your household overall water consumption. However, the easiest way is to repair your current toilet and check out some parts that cause leaks, inefficient, or prone to corrosion.
- Additionally, installing a water aerator on your kitchen sink is one easy way to limit the water flow. These components slow down the water flow to reduce the wasted water.
- Also, front-load clothes washers use less water than top-loaders (who knew, right?).
- Finally, a tankless water heater can save water since you don’t need to let water run for it to heat up. They are also 24% to 34% more energy efficient.
Water saved per year: 50% – 65% of water saving.
3. Use sprinklers with rain sensors or timers
Installing sprinklers that have timers is a great way to keep the output of water consistent even without monitoring its progress. Sprinklers and hoses can typically waste thousands of gallons of water within a few hours if left unattended. You can set the sprinkler timer in the morning for around 6am-7am or add rain sensor component to it.
Water saved per year: 16% reduction in irrigation water usage
Cost Range: Less than $100
4. Hot water alternatives
During winter, a hot bath is a must. Adding insulation system could be expensive and requires large upfront investment. However, there are some alternative energy solutions that could save water consumption. One of these is the use of solar water heater. This solution uses geothermal heat from the sun to produce heat for warming the water.
Cost Range: $8,000-$10,000
5. Collect rain in a rain barrel and use a drip irrigation system
Collecting water from during rainfalls is the easiest and most natural ways to conserve water. By simply installing a rain barrel and running gutters to it, you can actually reduce your current water bill while reducing your household’s ecological footprint by collecting water from gutters. Rainwater harvesting or Drip irrigation system is also an inexpensive and simple water-saving renovation for your home.
A drip irrigation system helps to distribute the uniform amount of water for your lawn or backyard garden. It can also be used as an alternative to sprinklers as it is more accurate and provides no brown spots or dead grass.
Water saved: 1,300 gallons on peak summer months. For every inch of rain that falls, rain barrels collect up to 625 gallons of rainwater in every 1,000 sq. Ft. Of roof
Cost Range: $300-$700
6. Water-friendly landscaping
- You don’t have to have a lawn. If you must have a lawn, consider artificial grass or a lawn requiring much less water.
- Or, create a lawn-free yard with rock gardens, trees and plants that don’t require watering (or not much), more deck space… the fact is a lawn that requires water sucks up a ton of water. For example, on a hot day, a 1,000 square feet of lawn may require up to 125 gallons of water. That’s a lot of water.
- Or, just let your lawn go brown. Chances are you have watering restrictions and it’s going to happen anyway.
7. Save water when watering your gardens
There are several ways to conserve water when watering gardens. They include:
- Use a watering can: You’ll use far less than when using a hose.
- Water close to roots/base: If using a hose or watering can, direct the water near base/roots of plants, flowers, bushes and trees instead of watering leaves from the top.
- Choose vegetation that requires less water: Opt for drought-resistant vegetation.
8. Compost food scraps instead of using garbage disposal
Did you know garbage disposal units can use many gallons of water per day if you use it regularly? It makes sense, right? You have to run water while using. We have one so I know.
By composting food scraps instead of using a garbage disposal you can save many gallons of water daily.
9. Twelve More Water Conservation Tips
This is simple, but not always easy. Here are simple steps you can take:
- Always turn water off when not actually using it. For example, don’t let it run while brushing teeth or any other time if not actually collecting water for use.
- Teach your kids to be water mindful. Fortunately these days schools do teach kids quite a bit about protecting the environment. Our grade 1 son, for example, is very keen about composting and recycling.
- Run water-usage appliances when full. For example, only run dishwasher when loaded. If you have 1/2 load clothes washer, be sure to switch to that if you only have a 1/2 load.
- Plug up sink and collect water for washing hands and shaving instead of running water over them.
- Take shorter and fewer showers.
- Don’t rinse dishes before loading them in the dishwasher (you gotta love this tip). Most new dishwashers will clean the dishes.
- Don’t defrost or warm anything with running hot water. Collect and heat water instead.
- Use the bare minimum amount of water whenever cleaning anything. You really don’t need your buckets filled half-way or three-quarters way full.
- Wash your cars less often. They really don’t need to be cleaned weekly.
- Whenever using water or are going to use water, ask yourself if it’s necessary or how you can use less of it.
- Avoid toys that require water.
- Opt to not get a swimming pool. Not only is it thousands of gallons (18,000 to 20,000 gallons) to fill up, water evaporates daily and gets splashed out which requires constantly refilling it… adding up to an additional 120 gallons every few days.
Cities Running Out of Potable Water
Perhaps you live in a country or region with plenty of water, but many cities and regions are running out of water worldwide. Here’s a shortlist of places that are in dire need of potable water or at risk to be in dire need in a few years:
- Cape Town, South Africa
- São Paulo, Brazil
- Beijing, China
- Cairo, Egypt
- Jakarta, Indonesia
- Moscow, Russia
- Istanbul, Turkey
- Mexico City, Mexico
- London, England
- Tokyo, Japan
- Miami, Florida, USA
The current average water consumption is 340L per person or 900L per household. Multiplied by 365 days, that would be more than 80,000 gallons per year. If these water-efficient methods are implemented, a household can prevent wasted water and conserve more.
Water-saving home renovation doesn’t actually needs to be expensive and would require a large upfront investment. With these aforementioned simple yet cheap methods will surely help you reduce energy and water consumption that could decrease water bill as well. To help you with your next water-saving home renovation project, you can always contact a plumbing company or contractors to do the job for you.
Whether you’re renovating to fix or repair an existing water problem or looking to save extra money while increasing the water sustainability at your home, these simple and inexpensive ways should be considered.