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When in Drought: 9 Ways You Can Save Water at Home

Are you struggling to make sense of water shortages? Here are nine simple things you can do at home to ease the burden on the water supply.

Across the world, we all face the pressing question of how to help ensure that clean water comes out of our taps. Global warming and population growth are both straining our water supply.

Add the fact that from California to Ethiopia, experts are saying we are experiencing the worst droughts in years, decades and, in some cases, millennia, bringing the water supply to a crisis level. Shortages can severely impact health, agriculture, economies, energy and the environment.

Many communities are already enforcing water restrictions. But our NSF experts say there are some simple things you can do at home to ease the burden on the water supply — and save the drain on your pocketbook.

Practical Water-Saving Measures You Can Take Today:

  • Be Drought Aware

    The numbers speak for themselves: An estimated 55 million people, or 40% of the world’s population, are impacted by droughts every year, and they are the most severe hazard to livestock and crops in nearly every part of the world, according to the World Health Organization. Drought threatens people’s livelihoods, increases the risk of disease and death, and fuels mass migration. As many as 700 million people are at risk of being displaced due to drought by 2030.
  • Make Waves

    Spread the word about drought and water shortages. Become an advocate in your neighborhood or among family, friends or your social networks for the importance of protecting water quality and availability. Share your knowledge about saving water through conservation and efficiency.
  • Put Your Detective Hat On

    Monitor your water usage on your water bill and ask your local government about a home water audit.
  • Multitask for Mother Nature

    Plant a rain garden for catching stormwater runoff from your roof, driveway and other hard surfaces.
  • Shop More Responsibly

    When you make responsible purchases, you can decrease environmental health risks. To help ensure that you do, look for certification marks on water filters and water bottles, and research suppliers with social and environmental policies.
  • Stop Tapping

    Turn off the tap when you’re brushing your teeth or shaving. This can save up to eight gallons of water per day.
  • It’s Raining Sustainability

    If you want to go above and beyond water savings, think about reusing water. Use a rain barrel, a bucket or other creative methods to collect rainwater for watering your lawn or washing your car.
  • Turn On Your Inner Fixer

    Look for leaks. During a drought, the last thing you want to do is waste any water due to leaks in the loo or from your kitchen tap. Check your garden hose. Is your bathroom showerhead dripping? Find them and fix them.
  • When in Drought

    Your water utility may ask you to limit your outdoor watering or impose other restrictions during a drought. But all community members can step up their efforts to help ensure that water is available to meet critical needs.

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