According to Ready.Gov, nearly every part of our country experiences periods of reduced rainfall, which is what causes droughts. What is a drought? A drought is a period of irregular dry weather that runs long enough to cause a serious imbalance in our daily lives. During a drought, for example, crops can be damaged, and water supply can run short, which is why they’re recognized as serious events that can result in widespread destruction of communities. The severity of the drought, however, is measured by the duration, temperature, and size of the area impacted.
A drought is defined in one of four ways:
- Meteorological Drought: This occurs when dry weather dominates a specific area. What might be labeled as a “drought” in one place might not be the same in another.
- Agricultural Drought: This type of droughts occurs when the moisture in the soil becomes inadequate, which can result in a lack of crop growth and production later on down the road. This type of drought, however, is usually associated with short-term drought situations.
- Hydrological Drought: This occurs when the water supply becomes considerably low. This is found by measurement of groundwater levels, streams, and reservoirs.
- Socioeconomic Drought: Perhaps the scariest of the four, this occurs when water levels are too low for human and environmental needs.
That’s why conserving water during droughts is extremely important. Aside from that, it’s also a good habit to develop; that way, you’re always prepared for environmental changes. With that in mind, try taking baby steps each day to help you and your family conserve water:
Conserve Water in Your Household:
According to Ohio University, clean water not only has the ability to change the environment, but it also can reduce death and diseases from spreading. This means that by conserving water at home, you can actually preserve life here on Earth, which is why conserving is now more important than ever before.
Even if you don’t live in a drought-stricken environment, cutting back on your water usage can go a long way. First, you’ll notice a difference in your utility bill financially. Then, you’ll start to notice a difference in the environment you live in as well. So if you’re ready to cut back, just know that there are a lot of small ways that you and your family can practice conserving water, especially around the house.
If you can’t do everything on the list, don’t worry about it. Just pick a few things to focus on at first, then make your way down the list as opposed to doing everything all at once. A few changes can add up to hundreds of gallons of water saved each and every year.
Here are five of many things you can try to conserve water in your home:
- Turn off your faucet when you brush your teeth.
- Turn off the water when you wash your hands.
- Cut your shower time.
- Repair any leaks you have around the house.
- Head over to a car wash that recycles water.
Develop a Rain Catch System:
Remember, when it comes to survival, it’s all about the water – so why not save it? The water that falls from the sky is not only valuable, but it’s also free. Despite rainwater being natural, however, it not entirely safe to drink unless it’s been filtered ahead of time. Why isn’t it safe? Well, because as the rainwater washes off your roof, it also washes off pollution with it. This might include harmful particles from exhaust systems located on cars, cigarette residue, dead bugs, and of course, bird droppings.
It’s still great water, nonetheless; and beneficial to plants as well. The water you’ve captured using the rain catchment system, for instance, can be used to water your grass, clean your house, and even drink – as long as you purify it – without spending a dime. You can use it to water your vegetables too. Just don’t forget to pour the water at ground level when watering your plants. That way, you don’t contaminate the food you plan on eating later on.
Another thing to keep in mind is the weather. So, if you live in a cold environment, consider moving your rain barrel somewhere safe. This will prevent it from cracking and getting contaminated. In the long run, catching rainwater to use later on will also keep it from seeping into your basement, crawl space, and foundation, which in return, can preserve your home for years to come.
The University of Nevada, Reno noted that “tackling climate change could be the greatest global health opportunity of the 21st century.” In order to tackle this enormous problem, however, community members must be willing to make small changes. Agricultural and hydrological drought, for example, can both be minimized by smart irrigation.
How? For business and homeowners, they can start by incorporating irrigation controllers that are labeled with water conservation logos. This logo symbolizes that the company has created a partnership with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to help reduce the amount of water used for landscaping. These systems monitor the weather and landscape conditions to help them determine when to water the landscape and for how long.
For larger crop fields, there are irrigation systems that can be programmed to monitor landscape and weather conditions the same way they normally would for smaller areas. Most systems can be programmed to water a specific crop for the optimum amount of time, saving the farmer money and water at the same time.
The devastating effects of dehydration are something no one should have to experience and be faced with; that’s why it’s essential for you and your family to learn different water-harvesting techniques before a drought strikes near home. Remember, the human body can live without food longer than it can live without water. So, start prepping, and don’t wait until it’s too late.
Thanks for the read! Did I miss anything important? What are some other strategies and techniques residents can use to prepare for droughts? Feel free to leave a comment below.
This article was written by Herman Davis for Prepper’s Will
Davis enjoys exploring the outdoors. If you can’t find him online, you might be able to catch him at the gym or watching sports (Go, Broncos!).
Follow him on Twitter at @Davis241.