Prior to a Drought

o   Never pour water down the drain when there may be another use for it.

o   Repair dripping faucets.  One drop per second wastes 2,700 gallons of water per year.

o   Check all plumbing for leaks.

o   Choose appliances that are more energy and water efficient.

o   Purchase a low-volume toilet that uses less than half the water of older models.

o   Replace your showerhead with and ultra-low-flow version.

o   Kitchen sink disposals require a lot of water to operate properly.  Use a compost bin as an alternate method of disposing of food waste or simply dispose of food in the garbage.

o   Plant native or drought-tolerant grasses, ground overs, shrubs, and trees.

o   Install water-efficient irrigation devices.

o   Avoid purchasing recreational water toys that require a constant stream of water.

o   Consider rainwater harvesting when practical.

o   Contact your local water provider for information and assistance on drought prevention measures.

During periods of drought, water systems may ask consumers to voluntarily conserve water, or, put mandatory restrictions on customers in place.

Voluntary conservation measures involve asking customers to restrict unnecessary use. Water systems may also ask customers to defer water use during specified timeframes.

Mandatory water conservation measures will depend on the drought conditions and will vary from system-to-system.  The Mandatory Restrictions information may be as simple as water use should be limited only to essential uses of water, such as drinking, cooking, sanitary use, and firefighting.

More detailed mandatory instructions may include restrictions on:

o   Washing sidewalks, driveways, parking areas, tennis courts, patios, or any other hard surfaces by commercial, industrial or residential customers except for sanitary or safety purposes 

o   Filling or re-filling of swimming pools

o   Non-commercial washing of privately owned vehicles, trailers or boats

o   Use of water for dust control or construction compaction

o   Firefighting training

o   Residential watering of trees, shrubs, lawns, or flower gardens

o   Watering of golf course fairways

o   All non-state-mandated line flushing by utilities and fire departments

Water Conservation Tips During a Drought

o   Avoid flushing the toilet unnecessarily.  Dispose of tissue, insects, and other similar waste in the trash rather than the toilet.

o   Avoid taking baths – take short showers – turn on water only to get wet and lather and then again to rinse off.

o   Avoid letting the water run while brushing your teeth, washing your face, or shaving.

o   Place a bucket in the shower to catch excess water for watering plants.

o   Store drinking water in the refrigerator.  Do not let the tap run while you are waiting for water to cool.

o   Avoid wasting water waiting for it to get hot. Avoid rinsing dishes before placing them in the dishwasher.

o   Operate clothes washers only when they are fully loaded or set the water level for the size of your load.

o   Avoid washing your vehicle.  If you must, use a commercial car wash that recycles water.

o   Avoid watering your lawn and water only when needed.

o   Most of the year, lawns only need one inch of water per week.

o   If you must water your lawn, do so early in the morning or later in the evening when temperatures are cooler.

o   In extreme droughts, allow lawns to die in favor of preserving trees and large shrubs.