Easy Property Upgrades to Conserve Water
December 9, 2016
Many states are facing a drought, and home owners and renters are increasingly under pressure to conserve.
“Often we’re bombarded with a message of sacrifice and cutting back,” says Benjamin Inskeep, a research analyst at EQ Research, who helped compile “The Water Short List,” a report highlighting conservation ideas. “One of the conclusions of our paper was that simple, out-of-sight and out-of-mind [actions] offer a huge opportunity to reduce your resource consumption.”
Here are a few water-saving ideas from the report that you can recommend to clients:
Swap out the shower head: Did you know showers account for 20 percent of water consumed in a household? The average American household uses up to 30 gallons a day for showers, according to the Water Research Foundation. But WaterSense-labeled shower heads, claim to use less than 2 million gallons a minute, which means switching to one could help save a whopping 2,900 gallons a year.
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Retrofit faucets: Kitchen and bathroom faucets are another big culprit of household water use, accounting for about 19 percent of indoor water use. Due to new federal requirements, contemporary models limit usage to 2.2 gallons per minute, compared to the 2.75 to 7 gallons of water per minute used by many older faucets. Homeowners who aren't ready to replace can retrofit an older faucet with an aerator, an insert that mixes air with water to control the stream and conserve water.
Upgrade appliances: Washing machines built prior to 2003 tend to use much higher levels of water per load than newer models. The Energy Star website asserts that a standard clothes washer more than 10 years old costs home owners an average of $210 a year.
Curb outdoor irrigation: Inskeep says that for some families, especially those watering large lawns in arid climates, outdoor water use can make up the majority of the household's water use. Set up a backyard rainwater collection system or plant a “water-wise garden” of native species that are well-equipped for the local climate.
Source: “Water Conservation at Home: 6 Easy Steps to Help You Save,” Curbed.com (Dec. 8, 2016)
Updated: July 31, 2020