Conserve Water to Prepare for Possible Water Shortages

AMES, Iowa ― Ongoing effects from the drought may hit closer to home with possible water shortages this year across the state. Iowans can prepare by finding simple ways to conserve water in their own homes.

Kristi Cooper, family life specialist with Iowa State University Extension and Outreach, says there are many simple tips families can follow to reduce water use, especially in the bathroom where 60 to 75 percent of water use happens.

”Now is a good time to track how much water your family uses each week,” Cooper said. “Challenge your family to reduce water consumption 20 percent before summer.”

Cooper works with the ISU Eco Family blog to offer tips to families on how to live a greener lifestyle, including water conservation. She compiled a list of tips for families, which is available as a downloadable PDF.

Tips to reduce water use include

  • using less water when brushing teeth and showering
  • flushing the toilet less often, or displacing water in the tank so it uses less
  • fixing leaks and installing more efficient appliances
  • only running full loads in the dishwasher and washing machine
  • using rain barrels to collect water for gardens and plants

Cooper suggests families make a list of conservation tips for their own home and post it where all family members can see it and be reminded.

Many more water conservation tips are available on ISU Extension and Outreach’s drought resources Web page, or the ISU Eco Family blog.