10 Simple Ways To Conserve Water in Hawaii
Relying only on Photovoltaic Solar Systems is Not Enough
At Kama'aina Solar Solutions, we realize installing photovoltaic solar panels on your home is only one solution of many to conserving our precious Hawaii natural resources. Natural resource estimates predict water rights and accessibility will be only an increasing issue on the American mainland and throughout the world, including Hawaii. Climate change has permanently altered the American West landscape, and this summer has seen a dramatic decrease in annual rainfall, snow melt and record temperature highs resulting in massive water shortages and restrictions.
In some regions like the American South West, this year marks the 3rd and 4th consecutive years of drought. American icons such as the green front lawn are only increasingly becoming an image of the past and an example of squandered natural resources. Hawaii is no different in this issue, as islands such as Maui have periodically initiated water cut-off's and removed showers and other water resources from county parks. Invasive species such as Guava, Albizia and Miconia among many others are also becoming the target of state officials in order to improve local watersheds, which are vital to Hawaii's long-term water security.
Here are 10 simple ways you can conserve water and contribute to a more sustainable Hawaii Future--while also lowering your utility and water bill.
1.) Repair Leaky Faucets. A single drop of water per second can waste up to 1,661 gallons of water per year, and replacing a leaky showerhead can save up to two to five gallons of water every single minute.
2.) Check toilets and plumbing for leaks. For toilet leaks, place a small amount of food coloring in the toilet tank, if without flushing, the food coloring begins to appear inside the bowl within 30 minutes, you have a leak. For other plumbing leaks, turn off all water outlets in your home and check your water meter. Wait two hours and check your water meter once again, if the meter has moved you have a leak somewhere in your plumbing system. The Hawaii Board of Water Supply offers free toilet leak testing kits.
3.) By replacing existing faucets with low-flow water aerators, you can reduce water usage by three gallons per minute.
4.) Only water lawns 2-3 times per week. Even in summer, lawns don't need to be watered every day. By watering only several times a week you encourage deep root lawn growth, making your lawn more water-efficient and healthier.
5.) Don't water lawn and gardens between the hours of 9 am and 5 pm. Water evaporates quickly when air temperatures are higher—this is especially true in Hawaii. If you are watering in the daytime, 50% to 70% of your water is actually being lost to evaporation. By watering in the cooler temperatures of early morning and late evening, you are actually watering your lawn and garden and not the air.
6.) Take Shorter Showers. Every minute you reduce your shower time conserves three to five gallons of water. Additionally, turn off the shower while you lather, shave or shampoo to save even more water.
7.) Be aware of faucet water usage. Another easy method to save water is not to let the faucet continually run. It's easy to turn off the tap when washing dishes, brushing teeth or shaving. If you sink wash dishes, use a soapy pan to wash dishes and quickly run dishes beneath clean water.
8.) Place nozzles on your garden hose. A running garden hose can waste up to 100 gallons of water in only minutes. By using shutoff valves or pressure nozzles, you can save water and wash and water only what you need.
9.) Water-catchment systems make it easy to water indoor and outdoor plants, water your lawn, wash your car and much more using only captured rainwater. You can even grown water lilies and other aquatic plants in the tops of the catchment barrels to increase attractiveness and reduce water evaporation.
10.) Use Xeriscaping landscaping methods. Xeriscaping emphasizes using only plants that need zero to minimal watering. Hawaii nurseries and landscapers are increasingly encouraging homes and businesses to consider xeriscaping techniques, using only low maintenance and native plants. The board of water supply has an informative pdf on xeriscaping in Hawaii.
11.) Yes, we only said 10 but we also need to mention installing photovoltaic solar panels can also save water. Generally speaking, installing photovoltaic solar panels instills or creates a conservation awareness in those responsible for monitoring the energy output of their home or business. Additionally, the creation of petroleum energy uses vast amounts of water and other natural resources, all of which are conserved by your homes installation of Hawaii solar energy!