If there is anything we know about living in Texas, the weather is all about extremes. This summer is no exception. With very little rainfall, Cypress is experiencing drought conditions. Bridgeland’s current stage of water conservation is voluntary, and if we all pitch in, we might be able to delay mandatory restrictions before the rain returns. Together we can weather this situation, just as we have during past floods, snowfalls and freezes.
According to epa.gov the American family uses more than 300 gallons of water per day. Most water usage is from laundry, bathing and irrigation. However, there are measures that can be taken to help reduce usage, because every drop counts.
Some suggestions in our list may seem obvious, but for some, the following list may provide opportunities to conserve water that, perhaps, hadn’t been considered. We also offer a few suggestions to engage our younger residents for better appreciation of our most treasured resource.
- A helpful tool called Eye On Water from your local MUD district can be found online. Once you create an account, you’ll gain a better understanding of your water usage and be able to monitor by day, week, month and year. The application is also able to tell you if you have a leak.
- Fix any leaking faucet or toilet. A leaking faucet with 10 drips per minute wastes 1 gallon of water per day. Fixing the leak not only saves water, but money as well.
- Turn off water while brushing your teeth.
Here’s a word problem for your grade schooler: Did you know that on average, brushing your teeth with the water flowing can use up to 4 gallons of water? If there are 18,763 people currently living in Bridgeland and we assume everyone brushes their teeth twice a day, how many gallons of water do Bridgelanders use to brush their teeth every day?
For younger residents, another method would be to put a bowl or basin into the sink to capture running water while brushing, then measure the volume of the water. After calculating the amount, you can use the captured water to add to a tree or bush outside.
- Capture the shower water in a bucket while you are waiting for the water to heat up, then use this water for flowers in pots or that newly planted bush that’s showing signs of stress. It’ll take 2 or 3 showers to fill a 2.5-gallon bucket, so at the end of the week you’ll capture roughly 20 gallons of water. It might be a fun addition problem for your grade schooler to find the total number of gallons saved for your family.
- According to the EPA, the average American shower is 8 minutes long using 20 gallons of water. By trimming just 3 minutes off the length will save approximately 7.5 gallons per person. Turning off showers and faucets when shaving your legs or face is another way to conserve.
Here’s another opportunity for your student to hone those multiplication and word problem solving skills: How many gallons of water flow from the shower per minute based on the above information?
- Run the dishwasher and washing machine at night and only when they are full.
- For those with pools, plug the overflow drain when the pool is in use to avoid waves of water from reaching the outlet.
- Evaporation of pool water is inevitable, but the effects can be limited by turning the automatic water fill feature off during the day and only refilling the pool in the evenings.
- Check irrigation systems to ensure sprinkler heads are watering grass, plants and shrubs, not walkways, driveways and the street.
- Follow the recommended lawn irrigation days as established by the Stage 1 Drought Contingency Plan for your Harris County MUD. Water only between the hours of 8 p.m. and 6 a.m., not during the day when water evaporates most.
As each day passes we get a little closer to cooler temperatures and hopefully regular rainfall. The more we do to conserve our water on a voluntary basis the better it will be for this precious resource. Every drop counts so make the most of what flows from the faucet. Let us know on Facebook or Instagram other ideas you’ve implemented to help conserve water #BridgelandMPC.