This past Tuesday, the City of Joliet hosted a meeting of area communities to discuss projected water shortages in our area. I attended, along with Channahon Village Administrator Tom Durkin, Channahon Public Works Director Ed Dolezal, and representatives from several other communities.
Water conservation has become essential in all regions, even where water seems abundant; that’s because our water resources are finite, and they are getting smaller every year as demand continues to increase. Although Channahon is known as “Where the Waters Meet,” that surface water is not our main source of drinking water. The deep aquifer from which multiple municipalities draw water via deep wells is depleting and projections predict it will be inadequate to meet water needs within 15-30 years. The meeting was held to begin discussions on alternate sources for water in the future.
In the meantime, what can we all do to conserve water in our community? Below are just a few tips. Watch for continuing information on water conservation and how you can do your part to protect this vital natural resource.
- Use Clothes Washer for Only Full Loads
- Consider a high-efficiency washing machine - The most efficient washing machines use as little as seven gallons per load, compared to a whopping 54 for a traditional washer.
- Take Shorter Showers
Long showers can use five to ten gallons every unneeded minute.
- Install Low or Dual Flush Toilet Models
Federal regulations state that new toilets must use no more than 1.6 gallons per flush. Replacing an old toilet with an ultra-low volume (ULV) 1.6 gallon flush model represents a 70% savings in water and will cut indoor water use by about 30%
- Turn Off the Water After You Wet Your Toothbrush
- Cover swimming pools to reduce evaporation
Swimming pools can lose an inch or more of water each week to evaporation.
- Water During the Early Parts of the Day; Avoid Watering When It Is Windy
- Add Organic Matter to Your Garden Beds
Adding organic material to your soil will help increase its absorption and water retention
- Harvest Rainwater for Watering Vegetable Beds
- Visit www.willcountygreen.com for more information about rain barrels.
- Plant Drought-resistant Lawns, Shrubs and Plants
- Put a Layer of Mulch Around Trees and Plants
Mulch will slow evaporation of moisture while discouraging weed growth.
- Plant Trees in the Yard for Shade
In addition to making your house cooler and storing carbon, adding shade trees can lessen the need for watering. By protecting plants and soil from the afternoon sun, shade trees help conserve water.