Although experts say drought conditions California wide are improving slightly, the bad news is that the drought could continue longer than expected into the near future with meteorological experts predicting a dry winter that may fail to replenish water stores and refill reservoirs adequately. This means that there is no better time to ‘drought proof’ your home, in order to help keep your gardens beautiful, help your home become more environmentally friendly and even to provide excellent cost savings on the installation of water efficient appliances.
Here we take a closer look at how some home updates can promote water conservation while implementing green building techniques and sustainable design to create a more environmentally friendly, drought proof home.
A home remodel, especially if you are remodeling the kitchen, bathroom, or outdoor landscape, is a great way to introduce water saving designs and appliances that help make your home more drought friendly. Ask your design build contractor or designer to keep water conservation in mind as they develop the plans for your remodel. Talk about whether putting in a greywater system for watering the garden is possible according to local building codes, and discuss options for water saving appliances that will help you minimize your water usage while giving you a more modern and updated space.
Water Saving Design
Designing your home with water conservation in mind is a great way to save water and costs on utilities as well. As previously mentioned, grey water collection can be built in to your plumbing system so that minimally used water from bathing and washing can be reused to water plants. If this isn’t possible, your home design can also allow you to make it easier to manually remove collected grey water to use on the garden.
One of the biggest sources of wasted water in the home is ‘warm up water’ – water that is left to run down the drain while you are waiting for hot water to reach the faucet or shower. This water can easily be collected in buckets and used in the garden to prevent wastage. But if you install a recirculating hot water pump with timer you can have access to instant hot water without waiting for the hot water to come to the tap, resulting in less wasted water and time. Skip to the end of the article for some more great water conservation tips!
Water Saving Appliances
Water saving faucets and shower heads, low volume flush toilets and water efficient washing machines and dishwashers can contribute greatly to reducing a home’s water usage, and all you have to do to receive the benefits is install them. Make sure you consult with your contractor about choosing and using slow-flow outlets or aerators on your faucets, and choosing high efficiency and water saving appliances wherever possible.
If you’re having work done in your home, see if your contractor can also ensure all faucets are in good shape and not dripping, as something as simple as a leaky faucet can waste over 3000 gallons of water a year.
When conducting home renovations or remodel additions there are so many ways to make your home more drought friendly and environmentally sustainable, so talk to your contractor today about how to incorporate some of these water saving options into your project.
Here are some more great water conservation tips!
- Set your lawn mower to 2 to 3 inches in height. The longer grass blades will shade each other and the soil, cutting down on water evaporation.
- Know where your master water shut off valve is located and how to turn it off in an emergency.
- Be sure to winterize outdoor hose bibs when temperatures dip to below freezing to keep pipes from bursting or freezing
- Use a pool cover to keep evaporation losses to a minimum
- Equip all hoses with shut-off nozzles. Saves several hundred gallons each time.
- Try planting gardens only during Spring or Fall when the watering requirements are low & use water efficient plants, trees, and shrubs.