Drought Survival Tips

Drought Survival Tips is about planning ahead for the possibility of water shortages, ideas for conserving water around the house, and sources for gathering water.


A lake drying Up

Survival Tips

What can you do now to be ready

  • Monitor conditions and create a plan
  • Purchase rain barrels or other systems of collecting rain water
  • Learn how to conserve water around the home

In the Kitchen and Laundry

  • DO make sure the dishwasher is full before turning it on. Dishwashers use between 8 and 12 gallons of water per load.

  • DO make sure your clothes washer is full before turning it on. Each load of laundry usually requires 50 gallons or more of water.

  • DO use a bowl of water to clean fruits and vegetables rather than running water over them. Reuse the water in the bowl to water your houseplants.

  • DO store drinking water in the refrigerator rather than letting the tap run every time you want a cool glass of water.

  • DON'T let the water run when washing dishes

In the Bathroom: (almost two-thirds of home water use is for toilet flushing and bathing!)

  • DO fill the bath tub only halfway and save 10-15 gallons.

  • DO take shorter showers and save 3-5 gallons of water a minute.

  • DON'T use the toilet as a waste basket. Throw trash in a trash basket and avoid flushing unnecessarily.

  • DON'T leave the water running when you brush your teeth or wash your hands or face. Faucets use about 2-3 gallons every minute!

  • Most Important - Never put water down a drain that can be used for something else such as watering a garden or cleaning.

Modern Rain Barrel

Collecting rainwater in rain barrels for use during dry months has been by many cultures as far back as Ancient Rome. It is one of the best ways to capture water and utilize it for future use. They are becomming more popular, even being the subject of art competitions and auctions in some areas.

Rain barrels come in many shapes and sizes, some being more decorative than others. Many people like the idea of re-using a barrel that has served a previous purpose, such as in the food industry. Regardless of where the barrel comes from, its use is to save water, thereby saving resources and saving money.

If you consider that a typical home has approximately 500 gallons of water runoff from just 1 inch of rain, you can imagine how quickly just one 50 gallon rain barrel will fill. That water can be used during a dry spell to water flower beds or lawn, clean your b-b-q grill, wash your car, or clean your gardening tools.