July 13, 2000 | By: Haven Miller
LEXINGTON, KY.

With recent rains, many of us may feel it's business-as-usual in terms of water use. But altering our practices to conserve this precious resource makes sense no matter what the weather.

"Water is a limited resource and we only have a certain supply of it on earth," said Kim Henken, extension associate with the University of Kentucky Cooperative Extension Service. "Not only is water a limited resource, but it's also costly to purify and distribute, so conserving water makes sense financially as well."

Saving just a little water each day adds up. For example, a shower shortened by one minute can save anywhere from two to 10 gallons per minute depending on age and type of shower head. A toilet not flushed can save anywhere from one-and-a-half to seven gallons per flush depending on age and type. A dripping faucet can waste as much as 25 gallons of water per day.

"We fall into water use habits and it's easier to stick with them rather than change," said Henken. "But these habits may not be good ones in terms of saving water, so we need to make a conscious effort to change our behavior and create good water use habits."

Water saving techniques are important indoors or outdoors, in rural or urban settings, and can be performed by any member of a family or a business.

"In the home, for example, we can make sure we wash full loads of dishes or laundry, not just partial loads that waste water," said Henken. "If we clean our driveways we can sweep them rather than spraying them with the garden hose. In the summer children can play in a small pool rather than having fun with a hose or sprinkler."

On the farm, producers should check any devices that utilize water to see if they're working properly and don't have leaks.

"This includes sprinklers, irrigation systems, outdoor faucets, and even watering tanks for livestock," said Henken.

To those who argue that our rivers will always keep flowing and giving us water, Henken offered a caution: "Our rivers change over time, and we're putting more and more demand on our water sources all the time, so the time to start conserving is now."

Contact: 

Kim Henken 859-257-7775