Drought is a natural climatic condition caused by an extended
period of limited rainfall beyond that which occurs naturally.
Nearly every part of our country experiences periods of reduced
There are efforts you can take indoors and outdoors to conserve
- Never pour water down the drain when there may be another
use for it. For example, use it to water your indoor plants or
- Repair dripping faucets by replacing washers. One drop per
second wastes 2, 700 gallons of water per year.
- Check all plumbing for leaks and have any leaks repaired by
- Insulate your water pipes to reduce heat loss and prevent
them from breaking.
- Choose appliances that are more energy and water efficient.
- Consider purchasing a low-volume toilet that uses less than
half the water of older models. Note: in many areas, low-volume
units are required by law.
- Replace your showerhead with an ultra-low-flow version.
- Start a compost pile as an alternative method of disposing
of food waste or simply dispose of food in the garbage. (Kitchen
sink disposals require a lot of water to operate properly.)
- Plant native and/or drought-tolerant grasses, ground covers,
shrubs, and trees. Once established, plants adapted to your
local climate do not need water as frequently and usually will
survive a dry period without watering.
- Use mulch to retain moisture in the soil. Mulch also helps
control weeds that compete with landscape plants for water.
- Raise the lawn mower blade to at least three inches or to
its highest level. A higher cut encourages grass roots to grow
deeper, shades the root system, and holds soil moisture.
- Position sprinklers so water lands on the lawn and shrubs
and not on paved areas.
- Consider rainwater harvesting where practical.
- Choose a water-efficient irrigation system such as drip
irrigation for your trees, shrubs, and flowers.
- Cover pools and spas to reduce evaporation of water.
- Contact your local
water provider for information and assistance.
Keep in mind that drought may require safety precautions just
like other weather hazards. Dry conditions often lead to brush fires
or wildfires. Local officials may ask that you not burn brush or
trash during dry conditions and comply with other safety
precautions. In extreme fire conditions, officials may issue
mandatory evacuation orders to protect your life.