Expert Answers
clairewait eNotes educator| Certified Educator

I think water conservation, like any other energy conservation, is largely a matter of lifestyle, affluence, and habit.  Obviously, America is an affluent country that has made a bad habit of consumption and waste.

All of the above ideas are great, but are they realistic on a large scale?  How many people can we convince at a time to turn off the water when the brush their teeth?  And who is policing that?  How many people are really willing to put a rain barrel out in their yards to collect and reuse rain water?  Obviously every little bit helps, and I'm not knocking the individual effort to conserve water, but my point is that there really needs to be a bigger energy conservation campaign, especially in America.

I think there needs to be more things going on like "The Biggest Loser" (and their water bottle/Brita campaign to eliminate plastic bottle waste) or PBS's focus on education, the environment, health, and weight loss.

If we really want to start making an actual impact on the earth with water/energy conservation and waste elimination, it needs to be a more popular thing to do.

mwestwood eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Having lived through a couple of droughts has taught our family much about conserving water.  We learned to only run a short shower and fill the tub for a bath as shallowly as necessary.  Then, we used the bath water outside to wash off the porches, etc.  The rinse water from the washing machine has also worked well for outside cleaning jobs.  We heated water on the stove and poured it into a dispan to wash dishes, or we only washed dishes in the dishwasher when it was completely full.  Likewise, we made sure that we had full loads for laundry.  We collected rain water in barrels (putting a goldfish in them to eat any mosquito larvae).  Pets and plants prefer this water as it has no chlorine and it contains minerals.  Left over water from buckets that the fisherman of the family brings home are also excellent for watering and nourishing plants.  Just being conscious of the preciousness of water gives rise to many smart ideas, really.

booboosmoosh eNotes educator| Certified Educator

A lot of the tips listed are things I would suggest. I know that when we go camping, we've learned not to let the water run, but commercials show people running the water to brush or splash their faces. A washcloth would save water over running water into your hands and letting it run as you splash.

We also try to fill one side of the sink with soapy water and the other with clean, in the camper. We use less water because it doesn't run so long. Having a dish pan to rinse if you don't have a double sink would do the same at home.

Make sure dishwasher is full before running, as well as the washer.

And I love the idea mentioned several times above about taking care of the environment. It's all about balance: inside our bodies and in our environment. If we didn't abuse nature as much as we do, everything would be better all the way around.

trophyhunter1 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

You can remember to not leave water constantly running when shaving or brushing your teeth. Maybe install more efficient toilets that use less water when flushing. Make sure the washer is full before washing clothes, or doing the dishes. Xeriscaping, or landscaping using plants that require little water to survive has become very popular. Taking shorter duration showers can help too. Remember, water is in a cycle and is neither created nor destroyed, it simply goes from liquid water, to vapor, to precipitation to the water table and the oceans and back again. However, the majority of water on Earth is salt water, therefore, conservation of the freshwater is essential.

lmetcalf eNotes educator| Certified Educator

It's a small thing, but don't run the tap when you are brushing your teeth.  Even at a trickle, it really adds up.

I wholeheartedly agree with a previous post about a rain water barrel for collecting water from the gutters/downspouts on the house.  We have two and use them for all the flower watering outside.  We notice that the flowers do really well with this water!

Consider water saving appliances such as washing machines and dishwashers and use them on the most water/energy efficient settings they have.

justaguide eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Water shouldn't be considered a renewable resource for any amount consumed. Unless it is used in a sustainable manner, it is no longer renewable.

If the geography of this discussion were to be broadened, water is something that has has brought people out in the streets and led to riots.

If a person were to just remember that water is precious, very precious, tips to save it would follow automatically. It doesn't take rocket science to think of ways in which water can be saved.

pohnpei397 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

This depends on what your lifestyle is.  If you live in the United States and you have a big yard, the yard is what tends to account for most of your water consumption.  In that case, you could reduce the size of your yard by making part of it into "xeriscape" -- which is landscaping that doesn't need that much water.

Outside of that, it is just little things like not leaving the water running while you brush your teeth or while you use the soap and shampoo in the shower.


brettd eNotes educator| Certified Educator

You can also simply reduce the amount of water you consume.  Plant more natural grasses and trees for the area you live in, so that they can be supported by normal precipitation and don't have to be irrigated.  You can reduce or eliminate green lawn, or barring that, you can make your sprinklers more efficient so you water less pavement and cover more area.

Low flow showerheads and toilets are also a good idea, though they can be a bit annoying at times.

ask996 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

I'm taking a slightly different approach to this topic. The water system is a closed system in that nothing is added and nothing is taken away. That is unless you consider the pollutants and toxins, that careless humans create and with which our water becomes contaminated, to be added. While we consider "saving water" most of the time it's conserving our own personal usage. We should consider "saving" water by creating a cleaner environment.

litteacher8 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

I think that saving water requires a societal change.  I live in Northern California, where we have a water shortage because our water is shipped to Southern California where they don't have enough of their own.  Until we decide that it is not ok to wash the sidewalk instead of sweep it, there is always going to be a water shortage.  People see water as plentiful.  They do not see it as scarce, because there it flows.

lrwilliams eNotes educator| Certified Educator

I think all the things listed above are simple things we can all do in order to conserve water. As mentioned above one of the best ways is to use the low flow shower heads and install new toilets that use less water per flush. In our house we try to make sure we are using the washer and dish washer only when they are full.

giorgiana1976 | Student

Check permanently the plumbing in your house to detect the weak spots and or to repair it if it's damaged. In this way, you can save approx. 25 l daily.

Keep a bottle of cold water in refrigerator instead of letting the water to run and run to become colder.

If you drank a glass of water and you have not finished, don't throw away the rest, but pour it on your flower.