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healthy living

Slow the flow

Follow these restrictions and tips to conserve water L e a H a ns o n

W

ater is among the most abundant resources on the planet, but in northern Colorado, it feels increasingly sparse. But, droughts or not, practicing the conservation of valuable environmental resources is important in our homes. Not only do we contribute to the preservation of much-needed resources, we teach our children to respect and care for the world around us. The bulk of our area’s water supply comes from the Colorado-Big Thompson Project, which includes Horsetooth Reservoir, the Cache la Poudre River basin, and portions of the Michigan River basin that flows to the Poudre River via the Michigan Ditch and Joe Wright Reservoir system. Due to fire in our watershed, low snowpack, and drought conditions, this year is especially important to make efforts to limit water use. Water restrictions are in effect for this summer. Check your area for more details: • Fort Collins www.fcgov.com/utilities/what-wedo/water/water-supply-demand/ water-restrictions/ • Greeley www.greeleygov.com • Loveland http://www.ci.loveland.co.us/

Restrictions include day and time limits on lawn watering and restrictions on car washing and cleaning of impervious surfaces such as driveways and sidewalks. Although it’s very important to conserve water both indoors and out, water restrictions don’t impact water use inside of our homes. Nonetheless, it’s important to make efforts both inside and out. In addition to saving water, we can also save dollars on our utilities bills. Ways to save water: Inside Check for leaks – a small drip from a worn faucet can waste gallons of water per day. 12

| RMPARENT

This includes your toilet: put a little food coloring in the tank. If, without flushing, the color shows up in the bowl, you’ve got a leak or a loose seal. This will cause your toilet to run at times in additional to when it’s flushed, thus wasting water.

nearly 60 percent of a person’s water usage can go toward lawn and garden care.

Put a plastic bottle or float booster in the toilet tank – put a few inches of sand or pebbles in a plastic bottle for weight. Put them in the tank away from operating mechanisms. This simply allows your tank to hold less water, thus saving water on each flush. You only need about three gallons of water in the tank to ensure proper and efficient flushing. Consider your diet. The simple act of eating uses water. For example, one serving of poultry can use up to 90 gallons of water to produce including the cost of raising the animal to transporting it to your home. Buying locally grown and raised food can drastically reduce this impact. Worse, a fast food burger can use as much water as 30 showers. Save the water that runs from the spout when you’re running it to heat up. Run it into a pitcher for watering plants instead of letting it run down the drain. Although there are hundreds of ways to save water inside the home,

are more resistant to disease. Consider the principles of xeriscaping (www.bathlandscapedesign.com/#/xeriscaping/ 4532349714). This alone can lower your outdoor water use 30-50 percent. Deep soak your lawn–water long enough for the moisture to soak down to the roots. Luckily, the city’s water restrictions actually force you to do this. Put an empty tuna can on the lawn and when it’s full, you’ve watered the right amount. Use a broom, not a hose, to clean the driveway and/or sidewalks. In fact, don’t run a hose at all. Be sure you own a sprayer adapter so when you do need to use a hose, it’s not continually running. Even better, replace your spray nozzles with rotary nozzles and cut your water use by almost 30 percent. For hundreds of additional tips, check out the City of Fort Collins’ website (www.fcgov.com/utilities/tips) for water and energy saving tips within categories of “low cost” and “no cost.”

Ways to save water: Outside Plant drought-resistance shrubs and plants. Native plants use less water and

Healthy Living June 2013 Rocky Mountain Parent Magazine  

Healthy Living June 2013 Rocky Mountain Parent Magazine. Monthly contributor.

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