As a necessary component of life, water is undeniably a precious resource. As a primarily agricultural-based state, water is especially important to the quality of life in Nebraska, and all Nebraskans have a responsibility to use it wisely.
Whether heating it for domestic use or moving it to irrigate crops or water lawns, using water takes energy. Generally, these are three places Nebraskans have an opportunity to conserve water, use energy efficiently, and save money in the process: At home, in the yard, and in the field.
Many opportunities to conserve water and energy (and save money) exist in the average home in Nebraska, especially if you require warm or hot water. Any water savings is beneficial, and after a look at the following data, a pair of water- and energy-saving devices will clearly benefit the home: low-flow showerheads and a high-efficiency clothes washer.
|Activity||Gallons per Use|
|Clothes washing conventional washer||33 gallons|
|Clothes washing front loading||15 gallons|
|Conventional shower head||2.5 gallons per minute|
|Low flow shower head||2 gallons per minute or less|
|Automatic dishwashing||12 gallons|
|Preparing food||5 gallons|
|Hand dishwashing||4 gallons|
In the Yard
Overwatering lawns accounts for the waste of millions of gallons each year in Nebraska. Make sure water is applied efficiently to your lawn. Don’t allow your automatic sprinkler system, if applicable, to operate immediately before, after, or during rain. Be sure to water your lawn early in the morning before evaporation from the mid-day sun and increased wind makes your efforts to get water to your thirsty lawn less efficient.
In the Field
Technological advances in agriculture in the last decade or so have taken great steps forward in water and energy conservation. It’s a proven fact: center pivot irrigation systems with low-pressure sprinklers lose less water to evaporation while precisely irrigating crops than outdated high-pressure systems lose. Another advance – center pivots with drop sprinkler heads – only need to apply about half as much water as traditional gravity-flow irrigation systems to sufficiently irrigate crops.