Persistent dry weather and the state’s stage two drought declaration have prompted the Regional Water Authority to ask its customers to voluntarily reduce their water use by 10 percent. Stage two of the Connecticut’s drought plan is identified as an emergent drought event, potentially impacting water supplies, agriculture or natural ecosystems.
Less rainfall and rising summer temperatures have a compounding effect, and taking steps to conserve water voluntarily can positively affect the system.
“Residents should be mindful of their water consumption and take sensible steps to reduce impacts on other water uses and on the environment,” said Gov. Ned Lamont of the drought. “We must begin early steps now to mitigate the potential for harm should the drought become prolonged.”
“While we currently have an adequate supply of water in our reservoirs, our request to customers to voluntarily reduce their water use by 10 percent not only supports the governor’s appeal, and protects our vital supply of clean, safe drinking water, but it also helps consumers save money on their water bill,” said Larry Bingaman, RWA president and CEO. “Just a few simple steps to conserve 10 percent of water use will help prolong available water supplies, reduce demand on the system and stress on local water resources as well as on the environment, and lower customer bills.”
The RWA is asking its customers to be mindful of water usage this summer by eliminating non-essential water use. Simple things customers can do include:
– Check for any dripping faucets or running toilets. A leaky faucet that drips at the rate of one drip per second can waste more than 3,000 gallons of water per year. The average leaky toilet can waste about 200 gallons of water per day. That’s over 6,000 gallons of water a month.
– A bath typically uses up to 70 gallons of water, whereas a five-minute shower will use only 10-25 gallons, depending on the efficiency of your showerhead. Shower to save water.
– Turning off the faucet while brushing your teeth can save as much as four gallons of water. If you brush your teeth in the morning and at night, that adds up to saving 200 gallons of water a month. The same is true when you wash your hands.
– When cleaning dishes, scrape your dirty dishes into the trash and then put them into the dishwasher. The average dishwasher uses six gallons of water per cycle; more efficient dishwashers use four gallons per cycle. A running faucet uses about two gallons per minute.
– Wash only full loads of clothes. Older top-loading machines use 40 gallons of water to wash a full load. Today’s newer standard models use 27 gallons, and more efficient Energy Star washers use 14 gallons per wash.
– Use a broom instead of a hose to clean patios, sidewalks, and driveways. Water flows from a hose at about six gallons of water a minute. If it takes 30 minutes to clean a patio or deck, using a broom saves 500 gallons of water.
– Wash your car at a car wash. Washing your car at home can use between 40 and 140 gallons of water. Washing your car at a car wash where water is cleaned and recycled uses about 15 gallons of fresh water for each wash.
– Use only non-potable water to water your lawn and gardens. Use a bucket to catch extra water when you run the water before a shower. If you take a bath, use the bath water to water trees, shrubs and non-edible plants (not your vegetable or herb gardens).
The RWA has additional suggestions on saving water and will share updates on customers’ conservation efforts on its Water Wise Ways page. Customers without internet access can call the RWA Customer Care Center at 203-562-4020.