Regions across the United States are in need of rain. Ninety-nine percent of the state of Texas is experiencing drought conditions. Wildfires rage on the West coast while grassfires pervade the Heartland.

In order to help prevent water shortages, each person must take responsibility in conserving water. Take a moment to look over these simple, but effective tips.

Much of a household's water usage is allocated towards outdoor use. Here are some outdoor tips:

  • Use drought-resistant plants that will thrive in your region's natural heat. Succulents, such as cacti and yuccas, are beautiful and love the heat. Don't let the name mislead you, though. All plants need some water. Drought-resistant plants simply can live with less.
  • Water only during the early morning or evening hours.
  • Check for leaks. Sprinkler systems are notorious for having leaks or timers that need reset. Check garden hoses and use spray nozzles that shut off the flow of water when not in use. There's no need to create a "pond" in your backyard!
  • Collect rain water using rain barrels. Use the water on gardens, potted plants, and other landscaping. It's nature's way of recycling!
  • Apply mulch to your flower beds. It looks great and helps the soil to retain moisture!

Water usage should also be monitored inside your home. Upgrade to high-efficiency washers, toilets, and low-flo shower heads, which can reduce your water usage by half or more! Energy Star appliances must meet specific guidelines of efficiency, including those for water usage.

If you have children, or teenagers, living in your home, have a talk with them about how important conserving water is. Taking shorter showers, turning off the water while brushing teeth, and keeping water off while doing dishes are all ways kids can help out. Every small effort can make a big difference.

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