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Maggie Jover: Water-saving tips worth your while

What would you do if you turned on the tap and no water came out?

Fortunately, most of us don’t have to worry about that. However, with the limited rainfall and increasing population, water is becoming a commodity in short supply.

You can take action to help reduce the amount of water you and your family use. Families need to evaluate their water-use behaviors.

For example, make sure all family members turn off the water while brushing their teeth. Reuse water when possible, and water only what your landscape plants need. Certainly, don’t water the sidewalk or driveway since they won’t grow!

Another tip is to maintain equipment and repair all plumbing leaks. Many silent leaks allow water and your money to go down the drain. Landscape irrigation systems need to be checked for leaks too, in addition to faucets and indoor plumbing.

Use equipment efficiently — wash only full loads in the dishwasher and in the clothes washer.

One final tip: Replace older fixtures and equipment with water-efficient ones. Installing aerators on all faucets may cost just a few dollars. It’s inexpensive to replace an old shower head with a new one that uses 2.5 gallons per minute. Replacing an older toilet with a newer model, using 1.6 gallons per flush, can cost less than $100. Putting in landscape plants that are appropriate for your local climate conditions can also help reduce the amount of water needed.

And take the 40 Gallon Challenge! This challenge encourages everyone to find ways to decrease water usage by 40 gallons per day per person.

Go to and find many other ways to reduce your water use. Use the checklist and accept the challenge.

MAGGIE JOVER is the family and consumer sciences county extension agent with Texas AgriLife Extension. She can be reached at 940-349-2882.