It's hard to believe that with all the rain that South Florida gets, we would have to worry about water.
But South Florida is one of the highest per-capita water use areas in the country, and we do experience periodic water shortages. You can reduce your water usage by as much as half by changing a few habits and using some painless water-saving devices.
When you start saving water, you start saving money. Follow these steps around the home and watch your water bill -- and often your energy bill -- drop.
In the kitchen
If you wash your dishes in the sink, fill the basin with wash water, wash dishes in it, put dishes aside, and rinse them all together at the end. If every home in the United States that washes dishes in the sink would do so in this manner, more than 100 billion gallons of water could be saved annually.
Also, defrost food in the refrigerator, not under running water.
In the bathroom
Install WaterSense labeled toilets throughout your home. A household could save $90 per year in reduced water costs, and $2,000 over the lifetime of the toilets. Miami-Dade County's High-Efficiency Toilet Rebate offers qualifying Miami-Dade residents up to $50 with the purchase and installation of a WaterSense-certified toilet.
Exchange your old showerhead for a new, high-efficient one, and save dozens of gallons of water per shower.
Also, don't forget to turn off the faucet while brushing your teeth.
In the laundry room
Make sure to wash only full loads in the washer. Eliminate one load a week and save 2,130 gallons of water annually. Switch to a high-efficiency washer, which uses less than half the amount of water compared to a standard washer.