Droughts are periods where precipitation levels are less than average, leading to a water shortage. While they’re common across the entire United States, some states are more vulnerable than others. If you live in a high vulnerability state, here are some tips you can share with clients to help them prepare their homes for droughts (and keep their property value high).
What to Do Before a Drought
For those in areas prone to experiencing drought, conserving water is crucial. Encourage your clients to optimize water conservation in their homes, before a drought occurs. Some actions they can take to improve water conservation in their homes include:
Fixing any leaky faucets by replacing the washers.
Checking pipes for leaks and getting them repaired.
Insulating pipes to reduce heat loss.
Installing an instant heater and aerator on all faucets.
Purchasing more water-efficient appliances for the house.
Installing low-volume toilets (these may be required by law in some places).
Installing a low-flow showerhead.
There are lots of ways to improve conservation outdoors as well, like:
Planting natives or drought-tolerant plant species in place of a lawn.
Putting down drought-resistant lawn seed.
Harvesting rainwater to use for outdoor watering.
Covering pools to reduce evaporation.
Raising lawnmower blades to encourage deeper root growth in grass.
Mulching around trees and in flower beds, since mulch helps the ground retain more water.
Purchasing a weather-based irrigation controller so water only comes as needed.
What to Do During a Drought
Sometimes, water utility companies request that their customers conserve water during a drought. Golden State Water was one such company during the 2021 California water crisis.
"[I]t’s important that each and every customer realizes the important impact we can make if we all work together to improve our water-use efficiency," said Denise Krueger, Senior VP of Regulated Water Utilities for Golden State Water, in a press release.
If conditions are truly bad, states can even limit the amount of water every household can use during a drought. Inform clients to check their local regulations to make sure they're within compliance. If your clients ever experience a drought, here are some helpful tips for further conserving water:
Turn off the faucet when brushing your teeth or shaving.
Take shorter showers.
Only operate dishwashers or washing machines when they are fully loaded.
Defrost food in the refrigerator or microwave, and not under running water.
Don’t keep the sink running to get hotter or colder water. Heat water on the stove or microwave, and store drinking water in the refrigerator to get cold.
Water gardens and lawns in the early morning or evening to prevent evaporation.
Don’t water your lawn for up to two weeks after heavy rain.
Set sprinklers to only cover lawn areas, not sidewalks or driveways. Operate them in short sessions.
Catch excess water from sinks or showers in a bucket to use for watering houseplants.
Droughts Are Inevitable; Water Shortages Are Not
It’s impossible to control the amount of rainfall in a given area. But your clients can control how prepared they are for water shortage conditions. Whether they’re buying or selling a home, implementing water conservation strategies will come in handy when the next water crisis hits.
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