Simple ways to become more water-wise
By AMWUA Staff
Conservation actions are more vital than ever as pressures on our water supplies increase. While reducing your water use won't solve the Colorado River shortage, conservation enables your city to maximize and stretch all of its water supplies – this is crucial when dealing with the consequences of a historic drought and shortages.
As we all prepare to have less Colorado River water in our future, the ten AMWUA cities are up to the task of meeting the water demands of their communities. Yet, with the uncertainty surrounding the Colorado River, municipal water providers need residents and commercial customers to strengthen their water-wise ways.
Here are key and straightforward ways you can use as a checklist to make sure you are part of the solution:
Learn where and how you use the most water.
- Use the AMWUA Calculator. It will estimate how much water you need for optimal monthly water usage based on the information you provide.
- Time your showers (five minutes or less is ideal).
- Are your appliances WaterSense or EnergyStar certified? If not, consider replacing them. Visit the rebates section for the most up-to-date information, including how to apply for the available rebate programs within your city.
- Before paying your monthly water bill, ensure you are signed up for an online account with your municipal water provider to quickly access your account and examine your monthly water use.
Find and fix visible and hidden leaks indoors and out.
- Do you hear dripping anywhere in your home?
- Leaking toilets are notorious wasters and easy to overlook. Check your toilet flapper to see if it's warped or leaking. They typically only last 3-5 years.
- Does water puddle or gather in a specific area outside while the rest of your yard is dry?
- Pools have auto-refill values, which can mask pool leaks. Perform the bucket test to ensure your pool is operating efficiently.
- Our step-by-step guide will help you find those leaks inside your home and in your yard.
Water your yard efficiently and effectively.
- Most people overwater their plants, even desert-adapted ones. Our landscape watering guidelines can help ensure you are watering appropriately.
- Avoid watering between 10 am and 6 pm to avoid evaporation.
- Confirm your irrigation system runs correctly and your timer is set to a seasonally accurate schedule.
- Upgrade your system to include a smart irrigation controller.
- If it rains, turn off your irrigation system for a few days.
- Don't overseed (plant winter grass). There are multiple benefits to letting your grass rest. Overseeding can stress your Bermuda grass, so it's good to skip that winter lawn and save water. Plus, you will save money on grass seed, fertilizer, and water, not to mention cutting down on maintenance such as mowing and weed pulling.
Transform your yard into a desert-adapted landscape.
- Explore all the available options to update your yard to be more appropriate to our current drought conditions.
- Even small changes can significantly impact your overall water use so swap out high water use plants and trees for climate-appropriate ones.
- If you need help, the AMWUA cities offer a wide variety of free classes and workshops to help you design, plant, and maintain a lovely, drought-resistant yard.
- If you aren't the Do-It-Yourself type, hire the right Pro to help.
Each of the ten AMWUA communities has professional conservation staff dedicated to assisting residents and businesses use water efficiently. They have opportunities you can take advantage of to become more water-wise. Each municipality has created and invested in its own unique blend of water conservation programs, rebates, and resources tailored to meet its customers' needs. Find out more from your local conservation office.
Remember, water conservation and efficiency are essential for a sustainable future here in the desert. Amidst worsening conditions on the Colorado River, practical lifestyle changes will positively impact our community's water future.
AMWUA's view on the current Colorado River crisis is explained in this letter to the Department of the Interior and Bureau of Reclamation.
To print or save this week's blog, a PDF version is available HERE.
For over 50 years, Arizona Municipal Water Users Association has worked to protect our member cities' ability to provide assured, safe, and sustainable water supplies to their communities. For more water information, visit www.amwua.org.