It's been an exciting few weeks in Oklahoma.  We've got water in lakes, water on fields and fewer water restrictions.  If you live in Lawton, you've probably heard we are being taken back to Stage 1 Water Restrictions.  That means all water conservation will be voluntary.  Let's not be too quick, though, to go back to our old ways of using and abusing the plentiful supply.  If the last five years has taught us anything, it should be that we can do better at conserving our resources . . . especially when they are abundant.

So, with that in mind, here are 13 tips to continue with water conservation.  We never know if the next drop will be the last for a long time, so let's all make efforts to do a little better with the resource we've been blessed with.

  1. When washing dishes by hand, don’t let the water run. Fill one basin with wash water and the other with rinse water.
  2. Soak pots and pans instead of letting the water run while you scrape them clean.
  3. If you accidentally drop ice cubes, don’t throw them in the sink. Drop them in a house plant instead.
  4. Collect the water you use while rinsing fruit and vegetables. Use it to water house plants.
  5. Shorten your shower by a minute or two and you’ll save up to 150 gallons per month.
  6. Turn off the water while you brush your teeth and save up to 4 gallons a minute. That’s up to 200 gallons a week for a family of four.
  7. Plug the sink instead of running the water to rinse your razor and save up to 300 gallons a month.
  8. At home or while staying in a hotel, reuse your towels. This is difficult in our home as my husband uses his until they are kinda crunchy.  Too gross for me. . . .
  9. Group plants with the same watering needs together to avoid over watering some while under watering others.
  10. Next time you add or replace a flower or shrub, choose a low-water-use plant and save up to 550 gallons each year.
  11. For automatic water savings, direct water from rain gutters and HVAC systems to water-loving plants in your landscape.
  12. It's easy and inexpensive to insulate your water pipes with pre-slit foam pipe insulation. You'll get hot water faster plus avoid wasting water while it heats up.
  13. All of those flushes can add up to nearly 20 gallons a day down the toilet. If you still have a standard toilet, which uses close to 3.5 gallons a flush, you can save by retrofitting or filling your tank with something that will displace some of that water, such as a brick.