Water conservation refers to reducing the use of fresh water. In the Kalamazoo area our fresh water or drinking water source is groundwater.
There are many reasons to conserve water including extending supplies, reducing pressure on sewage treatment facilities and using less energy. Saving water also saves energy for both your local water supplier, if you are connected to a public water supply and yourself, if you have your own private well.
As a result of conserving water, local public water suppliers would benefit from lower energy costs due to reduced pumping and treatment costs. Homeowners with private wells would see a reduction in energy use and result in lower electricity costs for pumping and water heating.
- Limit showers to five minutes and install water-efficient showerheads to save up to 1,000 gallons per month.
- Turn off water while brushing your teeth and shaving to save up to 1,200 gallons per month.
- Run your washing machine and dishwasher only when full to save up to 1,000 gallons per month.
- Repair leaky plumbing to save up to 400 gallons per month.
- Replace older toilets with low-flow models to save up to 1,300 gallons per month.
- Put food coloring in your toilet tank. If it seeps into the toilet bowl, you have a leak, eliminate the leak and save up to 600 gallons per month.
- Water your lawn in the early hours of the morning every third day, but only if it needs it.
- Direct downspouts and other runoff towards shrubs and trees, or collect in rain barrels and use for watering landscape and garden plants.
- Use porous materials for walkways and patios to keep water in your yard and prevent wasteful runoff.
There are many other effective ways to conserve water in and around your home. Visit Residential Water Conservation or Water Use It Wisely to learn more. Also read this resource on how kids can conserve water at home.
For more in-depth information on water conservation topics from a professional standpoint visit the Water Efficiency Journal
Please visit the Water Sense Program website, which is a partnership program sponsored by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, focusing on making it easy for Americans to save water and protect the environment.
Where does groundwater come from? The rain! Each year in Kalamazoo County we get an average of 34-36" of rain. Approximately 65% of the rain is lost to evapotranspiration, 25% infiltrates into the ground to become groundwater, and 10% runs off to surface water.