The United States is experiencing one of the worst draughts in recent history, with several states reporting extreme to exceptional drought conditions, the highest classification of severity. Here are five quick and easy ways for small businesses to cut back on water consumption and make this situation a little less dire.
1. Make Employees Aware and Engage Their Active Cooperation
Keep employees informed and willing to conserve water through educational and motivational programs.
- Conduct a short meeting about the need for water conservation and how employees can help.
- Appoint a water-efficiency task force to monitor water usage, set conservation goals, and report on targets met.
- Display water-saving policies in kitchens, staff rooms, and restrooms.
- Reward employees for meeting conservation goals during a specified period, e.g., a personal water bottle.
2. Obtain a Commercial Water Audit
Request a water audit from your water utility to review current usage and identify how to achieve improved efficiency. In many cases, these reviews are conducted free of charge or qualify for a rebate on your water bill. Even if there is a fee, the long-term cost savings likely more than cover the initial outlay.
3. Install Lo-Flow Aerators
You don't need a plumber to replace faucets in restrooms and other staff facilities with low-flow aerators. These devices reduce water flow without reducing pressure, saving both energy and water. Low-flow aerators are estimated to save 13,000 gallons a year, or about $100 in utility fees, for an outlay of only $1 to $4.
4. Make the Grass Less Green on Your Side
A lush lawn requires gallons of water to look that way. Be green without having to look green with native landscapes and plants that require less watering. If you have to have some lawn, install rain barrels and other irrigation systems that make use of rainfall or other recycled water sources.
5. Find and Fix Leaks Right Away
Leaky faucets waste water and money. A slow drip wastes up to 10 gallons a day, or more than 3,600 gallons a year. Besides just fixing a leak as soon as you see one, you've also got to look for leaks -- some are so small they are hardly noticeable. One easy trick is to wrap a towel around a faucet and make sure it isn't used for a day. If the towel gets even a little damp, there's a leak even if you can't see a drip.