The small ways people can reduce water use in their day-to-day lives can be especially important during a drought.
Education about water conservation is important in both rainy years and dry years, said Laurie Dickson, executive director of the nonprofit Four Corners Office for Resource Efficiency.
“It’s really low hanging fruit to save in small ways,” she said.
Turning off the faucet when brushing your teeth can save up to 4 gallons of water per minute.
Shortening a shower by one or two minutes can save about 150 gallons of water per month.
Dickson also suggests that people check things such as faucets and hoses for leaks. One drip per second can add up to 150 gallons a day.
As for lawn care and landscaping, watering should never be done during the day, Dickson said. Watering should take place early in the morning or at night.
People can also check if their lawn needs watering.
“If the grass stays matted down, it might need water,” she said. “If it doesn’t and pops up, it doesn’t need water.”
Checking sprinkler heads is also important. If water sprays into the gutter rather than on the grass, up to 100 gallons per day can be wasted.
Rain barrels are a useful solution to outdoor irrigation. Collected rain water can be used for watering gardens and landscaping. On a 1,000-square-foot roof, a half-inch of rain adds up to 300 gallons.
Certain products reduce water use, such as faucet aerators, which cost just a couple of dollars. WaterSense, a label of products sponsored by the Environmental Protection Agency, includes faucets, toilets and shower heads designed to save water.