The latest drought graphics published by the National Weather Service reveals a disturbingly dry trend for the U.S. Nearly the entire country currently ranges from Drought Intensity 1 (moderate) to Drought Intensity 4 (exceptional). It's natural for regional areas to experience a few dry spells during summer but a drought qualification means the top soil has no moisture, making it hard to grow anything besides a few hardy cacti. Community water reservoirs depend on rain water to supplement their water supply; water conservation is a must in these conditions.
Residents who live in drought zones need to take proactive measures to conserve necessary water. A few changes in your daily routine can keep the tank full longer. The Red Cross issued the following tips for preparing for drought.
In Your Home
- Don't pour out an unused glass of water. Use it for something, like watering plants.
- Examine your faucets and hoses for leaks. Replace any that drip or appear torn. Dripping water is a waste.
- Add a drop of food coloring to your toilet tank. Wait 30 minutes. If the colored water appears in the bowl, you have a toilet water leak somewhere. Replace the toilet or repair the leak.
- Go to low-flow toilets to save water.
- Remember to turn off the water while you brush your teeth or wash your face.
- Cut down on the shower time and don't take baths.
- Change the efficiency setting on the dishwasher to the light wash cycle. Only run the machine when it is completely full.
- Wash full loads of clothes. Hand wash small loads.
- Install flow-restricting aerators on your faucets.
In Your Yard
- Water trees before you water the lawn. Sod can be replaced whereas a 200-year-old tree cannot.
- Don't fertilize your lawn during a drought. It burns the grass.
- Water the lawn once a week and only during hours designated by local authorities.
- Raise the blade on your lawn mower to the highest level. Cutting grass too short during drought conditions could permanently damage your grass.
- Keep the pool covered when it is not being used to save water.
Dry conditions play havoc on your water bill and makes life really uncomfortable. Participate in a strong water conservation plan to combat local drought.