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15 water saving tips — what are yours?

By Susan Burke March

As reported, water usage in Cuenca is up 25 percent, as well as the lack of recent rain. I had heard earlier this week that water usage was up 20 percent, and reached out to my friends on social media to get some top tips for saving water. Please feel free to add your own in the comments below: And by the way, it’s NOT necessary to wash all of your clothes every time you come in from outside — read more here.  Wash your hands — use proper technique and don’t let the water run while you’re scrubbing. Wet your hands, turn off the tap, scrub-a-dub for at least 20 seconds – rinse well, dry with a clean towel or air dry.

  1. Wash your hands without wasting water. The CDC says that to your hands with clean, running water (warm or cold), turn off the tap, and apply soap, use friction and technique for 20 seconds, and then rinse with running water.
  2. Every second time. You probably have heard the rhyme, “If it’s yellow, let it mellow. / If it’s brown, flush it down.” Every time you flush the toilet you use a lot of water! If you have a modern model you’re probably only using about 1.5 gallons a flush — but older toilets use an average of three to five gallons of water, in some cases even using as much as seven gallons. You don’t have to flush every single time you pee (six to 10 times a day) —  instead, save about nine gallons of water daily.
  3. Check your toilet for leaks. Put a few drops of food coloring in your toilet tank. If, without flushing, the coloring begins to appear in the bowl, you have a leak that may be wasting more than 100 gallons of water a day.
  4. Shorten those showers. A typical shower uses five to ten gallons of water a minute. Limit your showers to the time it takes to soap up, wash down and rise off. Put a bucket in the shower to catch water as it’s getting hot – use the water to flush the toilet!
  5. Take baths! A partially filled tub uses less water than all but the shortest showers. Save the water to flush the toilet. Check out this video about how to flush a toilet with a bucket of water (that you saved!)
  6. Turn off the water while brushing your teeth. Before brushing, wet your brush and fill a glass for rinsing your mouth.
  7. Turn off the water while shaving. Fill the bottom of the sink with a few inches of warm water in which to rinse your razor.
  8. Check faucets and pipes for leaks. Even a small drip can waste 50 or more gallons of water a day.
  9. Use your automatic dishwasher for full loads only. Every time you run your dishwasher, you use about 25 gallons of water.
  10. Use your automatic washing machine only for full loads only
  11. Your automatic washer uses 30 to 35 gallons per cycle.
  12. Don’t let the faucet run while you clean vegetables
  13. Rinse your vegetables instead in a bowl or sink full of clean water.
  14. Keep a bottle of drinking water in the refrigerator. Cuenca tap water is good to drink, and you don’t waste water running it to get cool.
  15. If you wash dishes by hand, don’t leave the water running for rinsing. If you have two sinks, fill one with rinse water. If you have only one sink, first gather all your washed dishes in a dish rack, then rinse them quickly with a spray device or a pan of water.

What are your top water-saving tips? Feel free to share in the comments section below.