Since the summers seem to grow hotter and dryer every year, our precious water resources are being challenged. There are many easy ways for each of us to protect our environment better so that we can save both water and money.

Inside the home, consider saving up to 20% per day when you install water-efficient fixtures and making sure that all leaks are repaired.  To check for leaks in the house, turn off all faucets and appliances that use water. Then look at and record the reading on your water meter. If you look again in 20 minutes and the reading has changed, you have a leak. Make sure not to turn on anything using water for that 20 minute period of time. Replace your old toilets with the new ones that will save you up to 200 wasted gallons of water per year. Use water-efficient shower heads and remember to run your washing machine and dishwasher only when they have a full load.

Outside the home, remember that summer usage outside accounts for about 80 of the residential water usage. If you remember not to water when it is windy, you can avoid some water evaporation. Watering your lawn early in the morning with a drip irrigation system helps conserve water during those hot summer days. Look into drought tolerant grass for your landscaping and when running the sprinkler, set an empty tuna-fish can upright in the yard and when it is full, your grass has gotten enough water. Instead of hosing off your sidewalks or driveways, use a broom.

All of these suggestions are easy to do and will go a long way to conserving our water, which is such a precious natural resource. Will you help?

This is a photograph from Falling Water in Pennysylvania-a beautiful architectural marvel by Frank Lloyd Wright.