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23 Jun

With all the rain, why is water conservation important?

As we look outside and it is still raining in June, we can’t help but ask why is water conservation so important in the Pacific Northwest?

In the “good ol’ days”, water utilities were able to put wells in areas where people were living. This made sense from an accessibility standpoint, but, unfortunately, these wells were diverting ground water from the mountain streams and impacting the amount of water available in the streams for the fish, wildlife and plants.

So, now, as our water demands grow, new wells must be put in locations that minimize the impact to the water flow. So, that means in areas closer to large bodies of water (i.e. Columbia River) and in some cases, at a greater distance from the populations being served.

In addition, during those glorious summer months, the water demand almost triples as we strive to keep our lawns lush and green. So, the water systems must be able to handle the summer irrigation demands.

So, what can we do about water conservation? We can take steps to minimize our water usage, especially during the summer months when demand is the highest.

Here are a few tips for you to consider during these months.

1. Check to make sure there are no leaks in your pipes. Turn all water sources off in your home and monitor the water meter to make sure there is no water flowing during that time.
2. Water in the morning when the temperatures are cooler and the wind is lighter.
3. Adjust your lawn mower to a higher setting as longer grass holds soil moisture better than shorter grass.
4. Install a rain shut-off device on your sprinkler system to eliminate unnecessary watering.
5. Only water when you need to. Check this by stepping on the grass, if it springs back up after you remove your foot, it doesn’t need watering.
6. Install a rain barrel. This won’t completely reduce your need to use the irrigation system, but it does allow you to capture and re-use your rainwater.

Looking for more ideas? Try this website for lots of helpful tips.