Most of us take cleaning drinking water for granted. You turn on the tap, and out comes the water. It’s generally safe to drink, and usually clean. Most of us just assume that the water will be there; few of us think about the delivery system in place.
However, the delivery system for our water is becoming an issue. As our population grows, our water system needs to expand. On top of that, there are areas where water systems are old and in need of repair. As the needs of our drinking water system change, there will be costs involved. Indeed, CNN Money  reports that expanding and repairing the water system will likely cost upward of $1 trillion between now and 2035.
For many Americans, these upgrades and expansions are likely to hit them in the pocketbook. According to the CNN Money article, some consumers could see their water bills double, and even perhaps triple, over the next few years. What you pay will largely depend on your location, and what needs to be done with your local water system — and how badly off it is. (It’s also worth noting that water infrastructure may not be the only cost in coming years; our power infrastructure and roads also need upgrading in many areas.)
While conserving water is always a good idea for reducing household costs as well as living more sustainably, it might become even more important in the coming years as water prices increase to help pay the costs associated with improving the delivery system. Here are some ideas to help you conserve water and save money:
- Check for leaks: Your first step is to check for water leaks. From a toilet that never seems to stop running to a dripping outside faucet, check everywhere for water leaks. Then, take the steps to stop them. Increase the efficiency of your home, and you’ll pay less over time.
- Reuse what water you can: Figure out which water can be re-used. You can keep a pan or watering can beneath the faucet as you wash your vegetables. That water is perfect for watering plants. If you are waiting for the water to warm up, fill a water can while you wait. That water can be put to good use, rather than just going down the drain.
- Make your yard more water efficient: Many people over-water their lawns and gardens . Find out the recommended water amount and duration, and stick to that. Watering early in the day, or in the evening, when it’s cooler, prevents loss to evaporation, and keeps your lawn healthier. You can also employ xeriscaping to some of your landscaping to reduce your water usage. Mulch can protect plants and reduce the need for extra watering.
- Only run the washer with a full load: Wait until you have a full load of laundry before you do the wash. You’ll use less water — and do fewer loads.
- Take a shorter shower: You don’t really need 10 or 15 minutes to shower — much less 20 or 30 minutes. Take more efficient showers, and you’ll use less water.
- Turn off the tap: The most basic of ways to conserve water is to turn off the tap when you don’t directly need it. Turn off the tap while you brush your teeth, and create a “rinse” sink when you wash dishes by hand, rather than leaving the water running throughout.
A lot of small conservation steps can add up over time to hundreds in savings, and this will be especially true if your water bill goes up in the near future.
(Photo: lilspikey )