One of the sneakiest natural disasters, most droughts start as a bit of a dry spell. Droughts are a problem that compounds over time, and rarely is it a random event. While Montana doesn’t have a statewide drought, there are bits and pieces where it’s more severe. Pondera, Teton, and Liberty county being at the forefront of the MT drought. Check out this interactive graphic by Drought Monitor! While we’re on the topic of drought and unpredictable weather in our beautiful state, I thought I’d give you a few small pointers to help you with water preservation! Check out our own Angela Montana’s article on drought in Fort Peck earlier this year!
Montana has no state regulations on collecting and utilizing rainwater, and this is great news for water conservationists. Although, make sure you’re using it for the right purposes. If you plan on drinking it, make sure you’re correctly filtering and sanitizing it. Rainwater can often contain E. Coli, animal feces, etc. However, if you need some H2o to feed your hungry lawn, consider using the rainwater for this!
Rainwater collection can be as simple as attaching a barrel to your gutter, as shown here. This will gather the water as it falls onto your roof and into the pipes of your gutter, and then pool it in the barrel. Again, don’t drink it until you’ve purified and filtered the living hell out of it, literally! No bacteria in my water bottle for me, please!
Speaking of watering your lawn with rainwater, there’s plenty of options that will allow you to create a much more sustainable outdoor space. From different types of plants to rock arrangements and self sustaining terrain.
Turf grass isn’t great for biodiversity, and it sucks a lot of water and resources from the environment around you. The fertilizer runoff can severely impact the water systems off of the lawn. For a similar looking greenscape to a turf grass lawn, micro clovers are a soft and low consuming alternative! Bee turf is also a great alternative, and even blooms with gorgeous white flowers.
For a quick way to save 10% of your usual wasted water, fix the leaky faucets and pipes in your home! This one seems pretty obvious, but it’s a great way to start! A few ways to know if your pipes are leaking, is a skyrocketing water bill, musty smelling rooms, and obviously any wet spots underneath or around pipes. Once you’ve discovered and double checked all your pipes and faucets, have your local plumber come in and tighten up the leaks. This will improve your water bill, and your footprint, and you won’t even have to think about it!
When you’re doing dishes, laundry, or anything of the sort, FULL LOADS ONLY! This will ensure that with the water you are using, you’re getting more bang for your buck. The amount of water wasted on half full loads, or running the tap into the drain is astronomical. By making a few simple changes in how you use water, you can save a ton of it. Take shorter showers, suds up and then turn the water on. When doing dishes, suds up the hardware and then rinse it altogether, as opposed to running the faucet while you clean.
Alright, best of luck on your water saving endeavors. Regardless of how you feel about climate change and the science surrounding it, it’s undeniable that water preservation is a step toward a sustainable future. Thanks for sticking around til the end, happy water saving!