The planet’s surface is more than 70% water but the actual usable water on the planet is about 2%. With the burgeoning population, water is an issue and water usage in the home is a big demand. Lowering water uses in the home makes good sense economically and environmentally.
The single biggest water user in the home is irrigating lawns and vegetation. Colorado often has little rain and doesn’t allow gray water, so valuable premium treated water is used to water plants. Consider xeriscaping and strategic plant placement. The second biggest water use is in toilets. Low flow toilets have gotten a bad rap because the earliest versions sometimes required more than one flush, technology has improved now and special features such as dual-flush and pressure assist toilets can make the smaller water use flushes more efficient and very worth the investment.
Here are some features that can be added to create a water-efficient home:
- place bathrooms and kitchen near water heater to shorten the time it takes to get hot water to your faucets, or use tank-less water heaters in remote areas of the house
- monitor your water use with your PC. The PC can also be used to detect leaks and control irrigation
- hot water recirculation pump
- Energy Star dishwashers can use 30% less water
- Energy Star washing machines use 33% less water
- EPA WaterSense toilets use 20% less water
- replace faucets and shower heads to use 20% less water
- bring your garden indoors by incorporating greenhouses and garden windows into the design instead of using more water in this arid landscape
- composting toilet for outbuildings
- large awnings that direct water onto vegetation and reduce the need for air conditioning
- downspouts directed away from the home and toward vegetation
- Xeriscape yard
- moisture-sensing irrigation timer (so sprinklers don’t go on when it’s raining!)
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