Low snowpacks across Colorado and Grand Mesa lead to water restrictions.

I think most of us believed this day was coming. In what's being called the "one of the worst droughts in a half-century", water restrictions are officially in effect. The first stage of water restrictions is set to be announced today. "This is my worst year I've experienced since being up here," says Slade Connell, the water supply supervisor for the City of Grand Junction, after a recent visit to the Grand Mesa. "Generally up at the towers, the snow would be 80-90 inches deep and we're at 41 inches."

Fun factoid, The average American household uses 400 gallons of water per day! Given the circumstances, we might as well start conserving. Here are 10 tips on how you can save water around the house...

1. Use a shower bucket. This was a new one for me. Instead of letting the water pour down the drain, stick a bucket under the faucet while you wait for your shower water to heat up. You can use the water for other stuff like watering your plants.

2. Remember to turn off the tap while brushing your teeth. I actually already do this. What I didn't know is that water comes out of the average faucet at 2.5 gallons per minute. Turn off the faucet after you wet your brush, and leave it off until it’s time to rinse.

3. Turn off the tap while washing your hands. Save a few gallons of water and turn the faucet off after you wet your hands until you need to rinse off your hands.

4. "If it's yellow, it's mellow." This tip has stuck with me for years. A cool hippy-chick friend of mine turned me to this tip decades ago. You come over to my place, there may be some "yellow" in the toilet. The potty is one of the most water-intensive fixtures in the house. Do you need to flush every time?

5. Fix your leaks. It seems obvious but a reminder doesn't hurt. Fixing leaky faucets can mean big water savings.

6. Re-use your pasta water. I hadn't thought of this one. Instead of dumping that water down the drain, pour your pasta water into a large pot or bowl. Once it cools, you can use it to water plants. Just make sure you wait until it cools.

7. Use the pay car wash. I always use the car wash anyway. Most car washes recycle their water. It's much better than washing at home with the hose.

8. Cut down your shower time. I take a quick one. (one benefit of not having much hair) Replace old showerheads too. Some can use as much as 5 gallons per minute. Speed it up and save some serious water.

9. Install efficient fixtures. Low-flow toilet, efficient shower heads, and newer dishwashers and washing machines can add up to big savings.

10. Shrink your lawn or do away with it completely. I don't have a yard at my place. Just rocks. In this already semi-arid climate, having grass really isn't practical.

So there you go! Some helpful tips to survive and conserve water during the drought of 2018. One that will go down as one of the worst on record.


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