USGS - science for a changing world

The USGS Water Science School

Opinion SurveyHandling your water crisis:
Encourage water conservation

Definitely one of the best ways to lessen the demand for water is to begin water-conservation measures. That doesn't mean your citizens have to stop taking showers (thank goodness), but they can take shorter showers and use more efficient shower heads. They can plant more water-efficient plants in their yards (xeriscaping). There are many things people can do to save water without having to sacrifice much. It's all a matter of educating the public and changing habits.

Let's look at some Ups and Downs of this option:

Any well-planned water-conservation measure will end up saving water. Water conservation does work.

Once people learn how to conserve water, they might keep on doing it. It might become a permanent habit.

For your citizens to use conservation measures, they must first learn about them. This educational process might take some money. Printing pamphlets or buying ad time on the radio would be one example of a cost to you.

You might decide to furnish your citizens with water-conservation equipment, such as low-flow shower heads, for free or at a reduced cost. That means a certain cost to you.

Once the water crisis is over, if ever, people might go back to their pre-conservation water habits.

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