Water Conservation for Homeowners During a Drought

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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