How to Prepare for a Drought

The effects of climate change can be felt across the country, and with extreme weather rolling in, it is not uncommon for parts of the country to have to deal with droughts. Read our tips to be prepared for a drought.

Install Low-Flow Toilets & Shower Heads

Installing low-flow faucetstoiletsshower heads will help you preserve water during a drought. These types of faucets use about half the water of older models. Low-flow toilets use as little as 1.6 gallons per flush, while a standard toilet may use between 3.5 to 7 gallons per flush.

Look for the WaterSense label which indicates the faucets are 20 percent more water efficient than the standard faucet. They use a maximum of 1.5 gallons per minute, compared to the standard flow of 2.2 gallons per minute.

Choose Energy-Efficient Appliances

Appliances like dishwashers and washing machines can use up a lot of water. EnergyStar certified appliances use 5 to 10 percent less energy than standard appliances, so be sure to look for the EnergyStar logo before you purchase. These appliances will help you reduce your carbon footprint and water use in one go.


Make Sure Your Plumbing is Working Smoothly

Whether or not you’re at risk for drought, it’s important to make sure your plumbing is running smoothly! Check for leaks and repair them as soon as possible, including your faucets. Replace the washer if you see any leaks. Fixing one leaky faucet can save you at least 2700 gallons of water per year.Consider installing a water softener system in your home. This will ensure the plumbing system runs smoothly by stopping any mineral deposit build up in pipes.Tip: Insulate your pipes to help prevent any cracks from occurring during the winter.


Install Water-Efficient Irrigation Systems Outdoors

A well-watered landscape is a happy landscape. But when it comes to drought season, it’s important to cut back on water when you can. Install an energy-efficient irrigation system like micro and drip systems or a soaker hose, and a timer to ensure your watering at the ideal time of day. Make sure the sprinkler system is watering only your grass and vegetation and not the sidewalk.Tip: Instead of pouring water down the drain, why not use it to water your plants? This is a good way to preserve your water usage.


Create a Drought-Friendly Landscape

You can take preemptive measures to ensure your landscape is drought-friendly. Many plants will adapt to the climate and can survive a couple days without watering. Smaller plants require less water, plus it's always a good idea to group plants with similar watering needs together. Drought-friendly plants include:

  • Geranium
  • Aloe
  • Lavender
  • Fountain Grass
  • Trumpet Vine
  • Lilac

Make sure to add mulch to keep the soil moist and deter weeds, which means less competition over water for your plants.


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