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Conserve water indoors too
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ATLANTA — Georgia’s current drought did not begin a few days or a few weeks ago. Various events throughout the state since spring 2006 combined with a lack of efficient water use habits helped bring the state to where it is today.
Conserving water temporarily, then returning to inefficient water use habits, will not help alleviate the situation. Water conservation must become a way of life for all Georgians, according to officials with the state’s Drought Response Unified Command.
For starters, look for ways to reduce indoor water use at home. Changing wasteful habits in the kitchen, the laundry and the bathroom can help conserve water and save money.
Although these water saving tips have been provided before, the DRUC encourages all Georgians to read the tips carefully and follow them to help their communities and their state conserve water during the current drought.

In general

An average person in the United States uses 125-150 gallons of water per day for cooking, washing, flushing and watering. This is more than 40 percent over what is needed to accomplish these tasks. Never pour clean, unused water down the drain. There are other uses for it. Repair dripping faucets by replacing washers. Check all plumbing for leaks. Have leaks repaired by a plumber. Retrofit all household faucets by installing aerators with flow restrictors. Install an instant hot water heater on your sink. Install a water-softening system only when the minerals in the water would damage your pipes. Turn the softener off while on vacation. Insulate your water pipes to reduce heat loss and prevent them from breaking.
Operate automatic dishwashers only when they are fully loaded. Hand wash dishes by filling two containers — one with soapy water and the other with rinse water containing a small amount of chlorine bleach. Clean vegetables in a pan filled with water rather than running water from the tap. Start a compost pile as an alternate 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. Store drinking water in the refrigerator. Do not let the tap run while you are waiting for water to cool. Avoid wasting water waiting for it to get hot. Capture it for other uses such as plant watering or heat it on the stove or in a microwave. Avoid rinsing dishes before placing them in the dishwasher; just remove large particles of food. Most dishwashers can clean soiled dishes very well, so dishes do not have to be rinsed before washing. Avoid using running water to thaw meat or other frozen foods. Defrost food overnight in the refrigerator or use the defrost setting on your microwave oven.
Operate automatic clothes washers only when they are fully loaded or set the water level for the size of your load.

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. Install a toilet displacement device to cut down on the amount of water needed to flush. Place a one-gallon plastic jug of water into the tank to displace toilet flow (do not use a brick, it may dissolve and loose pieces may cause damage to the internal parts). Be sure installation does not interfere with the operating parts. Replace your showerhead with an ultra-low-flow version. Place a bucket in the shower to catch excess water for watering plants. Avoid flushing the toilet unnecessarily. Dispose of tissues, insects and other similar waste in the trash rather than the toilet. Avoid taking baths — take short showers — turn on water only to get wet and lather and then again to rinse off. Avoid letting the water run while brushing your teeth, washing your face, or shaving.
DRUC comprises the directors of the Environmental Protection Division of the Georgia Department of Natural Resources, the Georgia Emergency Management Agency, the Georgia Environmental Facilities Authority and the Georgia Division of Public Health. It was established by Gov. Sonny Perdue to coordinate the state’s role in mitigating the effects of Georgia’s ongoing drought.
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