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Community Water Conservation

 Many communities around the nation are working hard to conserve water.

There are many ways to help conserve our freshwater supply, and the first step is awareness. Many communities are helping to educate the public about more efficient water practices. I’ve presented some ideas below, and you can always check into your local city or state water provider for more information on how to help in your own community.
 
Water-Saving Tips from Around the Nation:
Outdoors
Use tools like rain catchers or rain barrels to collect and store your rainwater for lawn and garden use. Not only are you saving on tap water usage, you're helping to filter out deposits like calcium and lime, and chemicals like chlorine from your plants, lawn, and underground water. Collected rainwater is also excellent and less harsh for washing your car!
Adjust your sprinklers so they're watering your plants and vegetation, rather than sidewalks, driveways, or the street.
Put a layer of mulch around trees and vegetation in your yard to slow down evaporation.
Water during the cool times of the day for the best retention.
 
Indoors
Fix leaky faucets and joints.
Install water-saving shower heads and use water-saving fixtures on your taps and toilets.
Shut the water off when you're brushing your teeth or shaving.
Wash dishes by hand whenever possible, but don't leave the tap running to rinse. Either fill a second sink with rinse water, or use a sprayer in quick bursts to rinse your dishes.
Keep water in the fridge to save on running water to get it cool enough to drink. Capture water when possible - collect water while waiting for your shower to warm up or your drinking tap to cool down. Use collected water in potted plants or put in the fridge for drinking later.
Run only full loads in the washing machine and dishwasher.
Shorten your showers. Even a 1- or 2-minute reduction can save up to 700 gallons per month!</ul>
Some suggestions from California
Take Simple Steps
There are simple steps you can take to capture rainwater at your home or business. Simple steps mean relatively inexpensive changes that you can likely perform by yourself. Most of these simple steps are geared toward capturing
rainwater to recharge (replenish) groundwater supplies:
 
Plant trees
 
Mulch
 
Go native and drought-resistant
 
Recycle green waste
 
Compost
 
Irrigate wisely
 
Fertilize organically
 
Redirect rain from downspouts

Take Bigger Steps
Ready to progress to more advanced rainwater-capturing practices? Some of the steps listed below are techniques for capturing rainwater. Others are techniques for collecting and storing rainwater so you can use it to irrigate your trees and plants. There are many ways to capture rainwater at your home or business. Learn how to determine which are best for you.
 
Please consult with a landscape contractor or other professional to ensure the practices are appropriate for your property.
 
Grade Your Land
 
Build Berms
 
Create a Swale
 
Install Permeable Surfaces
 
Install a Drywell
 
Install a Cistern or Rain Barrel
 
Install a First-Flush Diverter
 

This site, for the national association of rainwater catchment systems, contains a lot of great information: American Rainwater Catchment Systems Association

Using Rainwater to Grow Livable Communities Sustainable Stormwater Best Management Practices

Stormwater best management practices (BMPs) are gaining recognition as effective, flexible, and environmentally sound ways for controlling the    quantity and improving the quality of stormwater runoff, while also adding amenity to a wide variety of development projects.

This is designed to encourage and facilitate the integration of stormwater BMPs into development projects in your area by providing tools and resources for effective communication and implementation as well as in-depth case studies that examine BMP integration in several cities across the United States.