What Are the Different Types of Water Conservation Techniques?

Dan Harkins

Citizens are often asked to conserve water, even when they live somewhere teeming with water. The reasoning has just as much to do with how much is coming out the other end in sewage as it has to do with saving money. Water conservation techniques could be costly and complicated — like replacing outdated plumbing at home or in a manufacturing capacity — or free and easy — like turning off the faucet during teeth brushings.

Agricultural irrigation systems can use timers to conserve water.
Agricultural irrigation systems can use timers to conserve water.

Water conservation techniques are closely tied to environmental concerns. This is largely due to how most areas of even civilized nations still have many combined sewer systems in 2011, which flood an area's waterways with wasteful pollutants when made too full by heavy rains and heavy usage. Conservation is not the only way to address the problem though, with other focuses on point pollution control and combined sewer replacements.

Low-flow toilets use less water than regular toilets.
Low-flow toilets use less water than regular toilets.

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Businesses often look to water conservation techniques as a way to lessen the utility bill every month. According to the Southwest Florida Water Management District, improving the water efficiency of industrial and commercial facilities — from hotels to factories — saved 26 businesses about 25 percent on their water bills in a recent study. Many of these changes focused on bathroom retro-fittings by switching to toilets, sinks and showers with the latest in water-saving technology. Other water conservation techniques involved reducing the water used for cleaning and cooling the buildings as well as recycling some of the water used for manufacturing processes.

Fixing faucet leaks will conserve water by reducing usage.
Fixing faucet leaks will conserve water by reducing usage.

Farms also use an abundance of water. By improving the irrigation systems used to water plants as well as installing catch basins for pooling useful rainwater, farmers can lessen their impact on the region. Just as using too much water as a household may be wasteful, using too much water as a farm could mean damaging yields as well. For each type of crop, agricultural scientists have a set schedule of watering that farmers can follow to make the most of this resource.

Turning off faucets when the water is not being used is a good way to conserve water.
Turning off faucets when the water is not being used is a good way to conserve water.

Green conservation starts at home, by changing the way each person thinks about his or her area's limited water resources. On a large scale, households can do their parts by repairing leaks to taps and faucets as well as upgrading dishwashers, toilets and showers to the most water-efficient models. The smaller scale would include water conservation techniques that require each person to change old patterns, such as those listed online by Water: Use it Wisely®. Inside, this could mean refusing to use the toilet bowl as a garbage can or taking only short showers. Outside, it could mean planting vegetation that needs the least amount of watering or using mulching or composting techniques to make the most of natural moisture.

Washing dishes less frequently can help conserve water.
Washing dishes less frequently can help conserve water.

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