Why Saving Water for Summer Months is Key
Water conservation is an equally important environmental concern for those living in drought prone areas as it is for others who receive adequate rainfall. Drought concerns are especially important in the summer months where the combined use of high temperatures and dry weather result in increased use of energy and water resources.
Summer Months are Often Much Drier
Many regions experience much drier climate patterns in the summer months as the wet and rainy seasons for most of the United States occur in late spring and fall.
At the same time these regions are receiving less rainfall, the warmer temperatures and longer days also increases the amount of water that evaporates into the atmosphere, leaving less water available for use and consumption.
Runoff Water Must Last Until the Next Season
Much of the water that fills our rivers and lakes derives from the runoff of snowmelt in the mountains. Typically, even at the highest altitudes of the Rocky Mountains, most of the snowpack melt is complete by late June or early July. Accordingly, the water levels in rivers and lakes are dependent only on summer rainstorms to supply additional run off for three to four months.
Years with less than normal snowfall can leave river and lake levels below average, causing water sources to dry up well before the rainy seasons return. Because water is a finite resource, it is important to take steps now to conserve the existing water supply.
Increased Temperatures Result in Increased Water Usage
Plants, animals, and people use more water during warmer months. Plants need additional water to combat drier temperatures and grow. Animals need to be increased water to regulate temperature. People have the same needs as animals but also use water resources for other purposes. Many people water their lawns and flowerbeds to keep them green and fresh when rainfall is lacking. Others use water for recreational uses, such as filling swimming pools.
And still others wash cars and vinyl homes during the summer months. While not all of these uses of water are wasteful, it is best to be conscious of the amount of water used and conserve use for vital and necessary purposes. If you must water a lawn or garden remember to do so during the coolest hours of the day, after the sun goes down and before it comes up, to ensure greater absorption and less evaporation.
If you are looking for ways to conserve your water usage in the summer months consider:
- Installing low-flow showerheads and toilets in your home to reduce the amount of water used in daily activities
- Fix leaking pipes, faucets, and appliances immediately
- Installing an automatic sprinkler system to water your yard at the most optimal time of the day
- Consulting a plumber or pool technician about the best way to conserve water while the pool is in use
Water and Energy Use are Linked
What most people don’t realize is that energy and water consumption are interrelated. Obviously, it takes electricity to run the air conditioning in warm temperatures, but it also takes energy to pump and heat the water used in your home. In addition to heating the water, municipalities use significant amounts of energy to treat and pump water through wastewater systems.
One way to limit your impact is to avoid using water during peak hours, such as running major appliances like washing machines and dishwashers in the evening instead of during the day. This reduces the load on the energy grid, ultimately making it less expensive to supply water to your home.
Consult a plumber to learn more about installing energy efficient appliances such as:
- Updated dishwashers with timers that allow for running overnight
- High efficiency washing machines that use one-third of the amount of water of standard machines
- Tank-less water heaters that use less energy to heat water
It is also important to have your home’s plumbing system checked out on a regular basis to make sure there are no leaks or issues with pipes that could cause damage to your home and a significant amount of wasted water.
Even if you live in an area that is not under drought restrictions during the summer months, it is important that you conserve water because doing so can prevent the need to cultivate new water sources and expansion of water supply facilities. The search for more sources of water consistently drives up utility costs.
Additionally, preserving existing water supplies eases the strain on communities that are commonly impacted by droughts. The reality is water a finite resource that is essential to live, but there are steps you can take to reduce your consumption and conserve the supply for the good of everyone.
For professional guidance on changes you can make in the Apple Valley, MN area, contact Apple Valley Plumbing Company at (612) 387-1207.