This editorial appeared in the Press-Republican on June 23:
PLATTSBURGH — Now that summer is officially here and the weather is warming up, we hope, it is time to start thinking about conserving water.
Water, as we know, is one of our most precious commodities in life. Unfortunately, there is concern about the future of our water supplies as we wade through climate changes.
The town of Plattsburgh recently issued a notice to its residents to conserve water as they commence work on an 800,000 water tank at Bluff Point. The work may cause some interruptions and the town would like residents to conserve during the six weeks of work on the tower.
While there is no water shortage in the town, the idea of conserving water is a good one not only for town residents, but all of the north country. Here are some simple tips for saving water this summer compiled from www.conserve-energy-future.com/various-ways-to-conserve-water.php.
n Turning the water off when brushing your teeth or washing your hair can save a lot of water. In fact, as much as 160 gallons of water can be conserved each month when you turn the water off.
n Purchase water-efficient products and appliances for your home. This includes dishwashers, sink systems, bathtubs and more. These products pay for themselves in no time at all.
n Do not use water to defrost foods. Although many people do use this method it requires a lot of water consumption to do this.
n Check for leaks. This includes the toilet and the sinks in the home. Even a small leak could cause an extensive amount of extra water usage and more money added to the water bill.
n Insulate your pipes. This will prevent them from freezing in the winter while also helping heat water up faster, among other benefits.
n When washing clothes, make sure that you are washing full loads of laundry only. You are wasting a lot of water washing only half of a load.
n Same rule applies when using the dishwasher — keep it full.
n Take shorter showers. You would be surprised at that just a few minutes off your shower time could reduce the amount of water you are using greatly.
n When washing your dishes (without the dishwasher) do not leave the water running to rinse.
n Keep water in a jug in the fridge instead of running the tap when you want water.
n Minimize the amount of time spent watering the lawn. Ensure that you are watering it only when needed.
n When watering the lawn ensure that the sprinkler system is set the right way so you are not watering the gutters and watering other things that you do not want to water.
n Rainwater harvesting is used by many people and it could prove to be beneficial to you, too. Consider it.
n Teach your kids how to conserve water and help them do it. Rewards are a great incentive.
n Use brooms or other tools to clean gutters instead of the water hose.
n Use a layer of mulch around your plants and they will retain moisture for a longer time period.
n Consider all decorations used outside including water fountains that may consume more energy.
n Use the car wash to wash your vehicle. A lot of water is wasted doing it at home.
n Use rainwater to water the plants in the house.
n Use energy efficient washing machine. It saves up to 18 gallons of water per load.
n Do not brush teeth in the shower. You end up wasting gallons of water as you stand in the shower for several minutes brushing your teeth. Instead, use a small cup for brushing teeth.
These are just some ways to help conserve water this summer, and we hope folks will consider them and keep the idea of saving water on their minds this summer and throughout the year. Our planet will be better off for it.
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