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Part of living well in the desert is using our natural resources wisely. Here in the Sonoran Desert, we can’t forget that water is our most precious resource. Smart water management is part of what makes living well in an arid environment possible.
Smart water use in the home is a key component to developing good water conservation habits. Be mindful about leaving water running. For chores like dishes, consider having a basin to soak dishes in- it reduces both the time it takes to wash dishes and the water you use doing so. Taking showers rather than baths also is more water-wise. If you water your lawn, do so in the early morning or early evening when less water will evaporate before your plants can access it.
If you are thinking of adding new taps, showerheads, dishwashers, washing machines and toilets in your home, look for options that use less water. Waterwise home products are smartly designed to do the same work as more wasteful options, saving you money and energy along the way.
Having a pool year-round is one of the great luxuries of living in such a warm climate as ours. If you have a pool at your home, there are simple ways you can help it be water efficient. Taking good care of your pool is key- making sure that the water and chemicals are balanced and that the pool is clean prevent having to drain it. Keeping your pool unheated also increases its water and energy efficiency. Using a solar cover to heat your pool is a great option that uses passive heating from the sun to heat your pool to a comfortable temperature.
The idea of reusing water may sound unappealing, but using water for multiple uses is possible and works to help make the most of the limited water we have. Most water used for cleaning, cooking and washing has the potential to be used as greywater. Greywater may have some particles, dirt and bacteria in it, so it shouldn’t be consumed or fed to animals but it can be used to water plants or keep compost moist enough to break down organic matter. If you use greywater on plants make sure any soap that may end up in the water is biodegradable, like liquid castile soap. Only use greywater on ornamental plants or fruit trees, rather than herbs or vegetables you grow.
Arizona’s seasonal monsoons mean that a lot of water can come our way in big downpours – to the extent that the land around us can’t absorb it all and flooding occurs. One way to make the most of the rain we receive is to collect it. By installing gutters on your roof that lead to a rain barrel, you can store water for future use in your garden.
Another way to collect rainfall is by directing rain falling on pavement to zones of soil and mulch that can act as a sponge for incoming water. Some neighborhoods allow the practice of “curb cutting” where an inlet is cut in the curb directing water to trees and plant beds where it can be best used.
Many gardeners focus on maintaining beautiful lawns – but Arizona residents know a grass lawn here can be a major chore – and a water guzzler! Instead of fighting to keep a lawn lush and green, why not opt for an attractive display of low-water plants and desert natives? The distinctive cacti of the region and drought-adapted desert trees can give any yard a dramatic flair, and low water gardening, called xeriscaping, is good for the environment too.
Xeriscaping will save you money on your water bill and it is easier- the plants you’ll be using are better adapted to desert conditions so they’ll be more low maintenance than a standard grass lawn.
We know we have to take care of the desert we live in. That’s part of why CC Sunscreens makes sustainability a comfortable, stylish option with our custom durable sunscreens. Sunscreens are an energy-efficient way to maintain a comfortable temperature in your home and our custom screens can be built to blend seamlessly with your home’s unique style. Want to hear more about what sunscreens from CC Sunscreens can do for you? Give us a call today!