Drought

Almost every part of our country experiences periods of reduced rainfall. If we prepare ourselves for a drought, we can enjoy the benefits of both ordinary and rainy years and not be surprised by the consequences of drought.

Before

Main strategies to counteract the droughts’ appearance, are mostly focused on water protection. Apply them into your daily life to in order to preserve this essential resource.
Suggestions for saving water before drought:

General

• Don’t pour water into the drain as it can be used again for another purpose. You may, for example, water plants or garden
• Repair dripping taps by replacing gaskets. One drop per second wastes 2700 gallons of water per year
• Check for leaks in the entire hydraulic system and repair them

Bathroom

• Consider buying a small toilet that have half of the older models usage
• Replace your shower with a very low-flow version
• If possible, stop using a tub

Kitchen

• Install a compost as an alternative method of disposing food waste or simply throw it away. Disposal of waste through shredders in kitchen sinks requires a lot of water to work properly

Nearby the house

• Check the well’s pump periodically. If the automatic pump turns on and off when the water isn’t being used, it means a leak
• Plant drought-resistant grass, shrubs and trees. Such plants don’t need much water and usually may survive dry periods without watering. Small plants need less water to take root. Group your plants based on similar water requirements
• Avoid buying recreational water toys that require a constant stream of water
• Avoid installing decorative water features (such as fountains) unless they use recycled water
• Consider collecting rainwater and use it to water your garden

A lawn care

• Position the sprinklers so that the water lands on the lawn and shrubs, not on hardened areas
• Repair sprinklers that spray a fine mist. Mist problems are appearing mostly due to pressure problems. Proper pressure regulation in the irrigation system will prevent the mist from appearing
• Lift the mower blade to the highest level. A higher cut encourages grass roots to grow deeper, covers the root system and retains soil moisture
• Plant drought-resistant grass seeds. Reduce or eliminate areas of lawn that aren’t frequently used
• Avoid over-fertilizing your lawn. Using fertilizer increases the need for water. Use products containing slow-release, water-insoluble forms of nitrogen
• Choose an efficient irrigation system such as drip irrigation for trees, shrubs and flowers
• Turn off watering in autumn and winter. Water manually in winter only if necessary
• Lay a layer of mulch around the trees and plants to reduce evaporation and cool down the soil. Organic mulch also improves soil quality and prevents the appearance of weeds

During

Follow communal, provincial and national announcements on restrictions on water consumption during a drought. In the case of restrictions, among other things, don’t water a lawn, don’t wash a car to provide enough water for the necessary applications.
Advices on saving water during a drought:

Bathroom

• Avoid flushing the toilet unnecessarily. Throw away wipes and hygiene waste in the garbage instead of the toilet
• Avoid bathing – take short showers – turn on the water just to get wet and soaked and then rinse
• Protect the flow of water when brushing your teeth, washing your face or shaving
• Place a bucket in the shower to catch excess water for watering your plants

Kitchen

• Operate automatic dishwashers only when they’re fully loaded. Use the short wash function, if available, to consume less water
• Wash dishes manually by filling two containers – one with liquid water and the other with rinse water
• Clean the vegetables in a bowl filled with water instead of under running water
• Try to avoid wasting water while waiting for it to heat up. Grab it in a container and use it to water the plants, or heat it on a stove or a microwave
• Avoid rinsing dishes before placing them in the dishwasher. Remove large particles of food with a brush
• Make sure you don’t use running water to defrost meat or other frozen foods. Defrost food overnight in the fridge or use the defrost setting in the oven

Laundry

• Use automatic washing machines only when they’re fully loaded or set the water level according to the load’s size

Carwash

• Don’t wash the car if you really don’t have to. If necessary, use a commercial car wash that recovers water

A lawn care

• Avoid over-watering your lawn and do so if really necessary
• Heavy rain eliminates the need to water for up to two weeks
• Check the soil moisture level with a probe, shovel or large screwdriver. You don’t need to water the lawn if the soil is still wet. If the grass jumps when being stepped on, it doesn’t need water yet
• If your lawn needs watering, do it early in the morning or late in the evening when the temperature is lower
• Check the sprinkler system frequently and adjust sprinklers to water only the lawn area
• Irrigate with a few short sessions instead of one long session so that the lawn absorbs moisture better and avoids excess water running off
• Instead of a water hose, clean leaves and other debris from the driveway or pavement with a broom or blower
• In extreme drought let the lawns die to protect trees and large bushes

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