Don’t Pour Your Money Away on Your Water Bill

by David Ning · 5 comments

The price of water is going up. As more and more of this precious natural resource is taken up by large scale farming and manufacturing, the average citizen finds his water bill spiraling out of control. The only effective way to cut costs here is to cut water usage, but reducing your water consumption can be done in a relatively painless fashion, so read on and save yourself some money.

Xeriscaping is the Way

Xeriscaping describes a method of planting that uses predominantly drought tolerant plants and little grass. While in the States we are accustomed to seeing large lawns, grass takes a tremendous amount of water. Good xeriscaping groups plants with similar water needs together, preventing disparities in watering levels once plants have been established. It also minimizes open patches of lawn that require high levels of water to retain their green appearance.

Each region in the country has plants that tolerate variations in annual rainfall better than others. Focusing your landscaping on such plants reduces the amount of watering you need to do. In years when watering is prohibited, these plants survived, meaning you don’t have to replant. Check with your county extension office for suggestions and help.

Time your Watering Correctly

Watering during the height of the day is wasteful and bad for your plants. Grass in particular is easily damaged by the sun’s rays focusing through the drops left on the leaves. Watering early in the morning or late in the afternoon allows the water to dry, minimizing the risk of developing molds on the grass and plants and reduces evaporation. A significant portion of water used on lawns is lost to evaporation. Don’t overlook this.

You should also plan to water deeply a couple of times a week, instead of shallowly many times a week. When water soaks deeply into the soil, it encourages deep rooting. Plants are more resilient and healthy when their roots are deep.

Indoor Water Usage

There are some appliances that waste a great deal of water, raising your costs. The dishwasher, washing machine and garbage disposal use a lot of water. Only run the dishwasher and washing machine when full. Avoid using the garbage disposal at all and invest in a good compost bin instead.

Fix leaks in toilets, faucets and shower heads immediately. Even a slow drip adds up very quickly when left unchecked. You can get advice and supplies from your local hardware store on how to repair these basic problems.

Also, if you don’t have low flow shower heads or toilets, consider replacing them. If you can’t afford the expense, place a gallon jug filled with water and sealed into each toilet tank where they won’t interfere with the toilet’s functioning. It will instantly reduce your water usage each time you flush.

All these tips may not seem like much individually, but together they can nearly halve your water consumption. Lower water usage leads directly to lower water bills. None of us have money to waste, and water is clearly an essential item, but there is no reason not to cut costs wherever you can.

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  • Arminius Aurelius says:

    Water usage , I have to laugh at some of these people who are concerned about the environment . They themselves will will shower for 15 or more minutes with the water running full force [ I can hear it thru the walls when my neighbor showers .] I wet down , turn the water off , soap up , turn the water back on and rinse off . Probably save 75 % of the water usage and of course the energy needed to heat the water . As an adult , 20 yrs. old to 85 yrs. old , that is 23,725 days in a lifetime , think of the massive amount of water and energy saved [ $ $ $ $ $ $ ]
    just by using common sense .

  • Squirrelers says:

    I have my young daughter to monitor my water usage. Apparently at school, they really impress upon the kids to conserve resources. A few times I have had the water on too long, she tells me, “Daddy, that’s not good for the Earth how you’re using more water than you need. Its good to save water, to save the Earth.”

    She’s talking about saving in terms of the environment – which is great – but I also hear the word “save” and think of money as well. Whatever works – and besides, you just can’t help but be influenced by your kids when they make “suggestions” like that. Its good to be a positive role model one way or another 🙂

  • Tim says:

    And I thought watering your plants during the hottest time of the day when they need it most was the wise thing to do.

    Thanks for the tips.

  • Guy G. says:

    Hey,
    I didn’t realize it mattered what time of day you used water/. Here in Ontario, we have new Smart hydro meters that allow you to be billed different rates depending on when your electric use is. The problem is you’d have to be a night owl to ever save money.

    My favorite of all tips on budgeting your water use is the space reducers you put in the toilet tank. You do the work once and then it’s ‘business’ as usual.

    Thanks for sharing,
    Guy

  • Sandy says:

    Never heard of xeriscaping, but the approach does make sense. I will have to see if I can work something like this into my garden.

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