Be Water-Wise This Summer

The entire state of Oregon is experiencing drought conditions. More than 85% of the state is in a severe drought or worse, including Clackamas County. With river levels being low, it’s more important than ever to be more mindful in how we use our water this summer! Here are some simple water-wise tips to consider.

Over half of all water use inside a home takes place in the bathroom:

  • Turn off the tap while shaving or brushing teeth.
  • Take shorter showers. Each minute you shave off your shower time saves up to 2.5 gallons of water.
  • Install a high efficiency showerhead, and you could save about 1 gallon of water per minute.

In the kitchen:

  • Scrape your plate instead of rinsing it before loading it into the dishwasher.
  • Keep a pitcher of drinking water in the refrigerator instead of letting the faucet run until the water is cool.
  • Install an aerator on your kitchen faucet and save about 1 gallon per minute. An aerator reduces the flow from the faucet, and uses air to maintain good water pressure.
  • If you have a dishwasher, use it only to wash full loads and use the shortest cycle possible. Many dishwashers have a conserver/water-miser cycle.

Water use almost doubles during summer, primarily due to outdoor water use:

  • Adjust and monitor sprinklers to keep water on the areas that need it –not the street or driveway. Or hand water! Watering by hand allows you to really target where and how much you water.
  • Cut the number of days you water your grass by a third, rather than for a short period every day. Watering thoroughly, but infrequently, will help roots go deeper, resulting in more water–efficient, drought–tolerant plants.
  • Try to water your garden or landscape before 10 a.m. or after 6 p.m. when temperatures are cooler and the air is calmer so that evaporation is kept to a minimum.
  • Do not over-water in anticipation of a shortage. Soil cannot store extra water.