What would you do if you turned on the tap and no water came out? Fortunately, most of us don't have to worry about that. However, with the limited rainfall and increasing population, water is becoming a commodity in short supply. Drought conditions, population growth and increasing water demands have put added stress on the water supply. By conserving water, these water demands and the demand for energy-intensive systems that obtain, treat, and distribute water are both decreased.
There are actions you can take to help reduce the amount of water that you and your family use. For example, make sure all family members turn off the water while brushing their teeth. Reuse water when possible, and water only what your landscape plants need. Certainly don't water the sidewalk or driveway since they won't grow!
Another tip is to maintain equipment, and repair all plumbing leaks. Many silent leaks allow water and your money to go down the drain. Using equipment efficiently simply means to wash only full loads in the dishwasher and full loads in the clothes washer. Replace older fixtures and equipment with water efficient ones. Look for the ENERGY STAR® label on home appliances and products. ENERGY STAR products meet strict efficiency guidelines set by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Installing aerators on all faucets may cost just a few dollars, but the savings will add up. Replacing the old shower head with a new 2.5 gallon-per-minute shower head is relatively inexpensive. Shorten your shower by 2 minutes to make an even greater difference.
On average, Texans use anywhere between 100 and 150 gallons of water per person per day. The 40 -Gallon Challenge is a call for residents and businesses to reduce our region's water use on average by 40 gallons per person per day. The challenge began in 2011 as a voluntary campaign to increase water conservation. Reducing water usage at home not only saves this precious resource, it also helps homeowners keep more money in their wallets. Saving a minimum of 40 gallons a day for 30 days adds up to more than 1,000 gallons per month. You should see real savings on your water bill if you follow through with your pledge and put to use the recommended water-saving practices.
Taking the 40-Gallon Challenge is as simple as filling out the pledge card, either online at www.40gallonchallenge.org or at your local Extension Office. We have the pledge cards available at our office: 1200 W. Houston St., Sulphur Springs. We extend the challenge for Hopkins County to have 500 pledges. I took the challenge - now it's YOUR turn!
Do your duty and a little more, and the future will take care of itself - Andrew Carnegie
Johanna Hicks, B.S., M.Ed.
Extension Family & Consumer Sciences Agent
1200-B W. Houston
P.O. Box 518
Sulphur Springs, TX 75483
903-885-3443 - phone
903-439-4909 - fax