The Maine Emergency Management Agency is encouraging residents to conserve water as drought conditions continue to increase, so we have a few suggestions on how to decrease your usage.

It's been a weird summer, with plenty of hot, humid weather but very little rain. Even when storm clouds gathered across the state over the past few months, they darkened the skies but didn't produce much in the way of moisture. Rainfall amounts are down for all of Maine since April, except for Aroostook County. And MEMA's Executive Director Bruce Fitzgerald says a state of emergency could be declared if conditions worsen. So he says it's important for Mainers to conserve water where they can. Here are a few ways you can do that!

  • 1

    Postpone Laundry And Dish Loads

    Plan ahead for doing laundry and running the dishwasher. These appliances use a lot of water, so make sure you have a full load before running them.  And pay attention to the cycle that you're using. If there's a setting that has a shorter duration and uses less water, this is the time to use it.

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  • 2

    Take Shorter Showers

    There's nothing quite as refreshing as a long, hot shower. But, for now, consider taking shorter showers that will conserve water. Or, if you really feel you need that extended shower to relax, maybe make it an every-other-day routine. You can also install a water-saving shower head to limit usage.

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  • 3

    Check For Plumbing Leaks

    Now is the perfect time to take a good look at your plumbing. Do you have a kitchen faucet that drips? Or maybe a leaky pipe underneath your bathroom sink? All of those small drips and drops add up over the course of a day, so get your wrench, some washers, and thread seal tape and patch them up!

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  • 4

    Keep Drinking Water In The Fridge

    When you want a drink of tap water, what do you do? You let it run for a while until it's the right, cold temperature. So one way to conserve water is to keep a full bottle or pitcher in your refrigerator so that, when you want a cool drink, you have it instantly!

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  • 5

    Only Flush When Necessary

    During drought conditions, we have to be mindful of how we use our toilets. They should only be used know. It's amazing how often we use the toilet to flush cigarette butts, or even a used tissue. But each time you hit that handle, five to seven gallons of water is wasted.

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  • 6

    Use Bottled Water When You Can

    Many Mainers are worried about their wells running dry, so using bottled water makes sense. Obviously, you can't use it for everything, but picking up a few gallons of water from the grocery store will only cost a few dollars, and will help you to avoid depleting your well. That bottled water could be used for cooking, brushing your teeth, and to fill your pet's drinking bowl.

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  • 7

    Turn Off The Tap!

    There are so many times during the day that we leave the tap running, for no good reason other than we're too lazy to turn the knob. So, remember to turn off the water after you wet your toothbrush. Rinse your razor in the sink. And don't leave the water running while washing dishes by hand. Individually, each of these changes may not seem like much, but they will add up to significant water savings in a very short time!

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