The drought of 2002 brought on record high water consumption in Currituck County. Our water plant was running 24 hours a day, seven days a week, to keep pace with the demand.
Thankfully, in 2003 we received much-needed precipitation in our area; however, if we experience similar drought conditions in the future, we may have to institute water conservation measures.
Conscientious use of water will help us all. You can contribute to the conservation effort by taking the following actions inside your home:
- USE HOT WATER EFFICIENTLY. When letting sink or shower water run to heat up, capture warm-up water for other uses. Insulate hot water pipes to save energy.
- WASH CLOTHES WISELY. Match washer's load selector to your load size. Wash full loads. Buy an "Energy Star" washer to save the most water and energy.
- TEST YOUR TOILET. Add food coloring to toilet tank and wait a few minutes. If color appears in toilet without flushing, replace flapper valve.
- REDUCE WATER USE. If you don't have a low-flow toilet, use plastic bottles filled with water and pebbles to displace water in the tank.
- FLUSH ONLY WHEN NECESSARY. Every flush you eliminate saves many gallons of water. Install a water-efficient toilet. Don't use the toilet as a wastebasket.
- BRUSH TEETH EFFICIENTLY. Don't let the water run while you brush your teeth or shave. Turn the faucet on just briefly to rinse.
- TAKE HALF-FULL BATHS. Try bathing in a tub that's less than half full. When finished bathing, use the bath water to rinse the tub.
- SHORT SHOWERS SAVE WATER. Install a low-flow shower head and a flow controller. Try to limit showers to under five minutes.
- USE LESS WATER FOR DISHES. Scrape dishes clean to limit pre-rinsing. Soak really dirty pans or dishes before washing. Run dishwasher only when it's full.
- DON'T WASTE DRINKING WATER. Instead of running the tap to get water cold, keep water in the fridge. At restaurants, request only the drinking water you need.
- PREPARE FOOD EFFICIENTLY. Use a vegetable brush. Spray water in short bursts. Defrost foods in microwave or overnight in the refrigerator, not with running water.
For more information on water conservation, visit www.waterwiser.org or www.wateruseitwisely.com.