JN Foundation Encourages Water Conservation

Jamaica is currently experiencing a meteorological drought due to inadequate rainfall. Therefore, every drop of water counts, says Omar Wright, lead, environment and community development programmes at the JN Foundation.

The trained sustainable development specialist recommends the following water conservation tips to householders:

Fix leaks promptly

Fix any leaks in your home, such as dripping taps or pipes, as soon as possible. Even small leaks can waste a significant amount of water over time, he informed.

Install water-saving devices

Mr Wright said that installing low-flow showerheads, faucets, and toilets to reduce the amount of water you use is an effective way of saving water. In addition, he recommends that persons should try to limit their shower time to save water.

Water plants early or late

“Water your plants in the early morning or late evening to reduce water loss through evaporation,” he said. He also advised persons to use watering cans to water gardens and shrub beds, as he said this can save up to 40 per cent of the water used when compared to sprinklers, since sprinklers apply water across the entire swath they are set to cover. Hand watering also delivers all the water right where it is needed, unlike the sprinkler which loses some water to wind and evaporation before it reaches the ground.

Use a bucket instead of a hose

During a drought, it’s wasteful to wash cars on a regular basis. When the car must be washed, fill a bucket with water and use a sponge to apply the water, he advised.

“Refill the bucket to rinse, again using the sponge to apply the water sparingly. A quarter cup of white vinegar can be added to the water to reduce streaks, and this solution does not need further rinsing,” he noted.

Use recycled water

Use greywater (wastewater from sinks, showers, and washing machines) for irrigation, flushing toilets (where possible), and other non-potable uses.

 Let your lawn go dormant

The best way to save water outdoors during a drought is to let your lawn go dormant, noted Mr Wright. He noted that the lawn will turn brown during dormancy, but it will regain its colour once the rains return. Most healthy turf grasses can be left dormant for three to four weeks without the grass dying.

“If drought conditions last longer than four weeks, water should be applied to re-hydrate the grass enough to keep it alive. Water sufficiently to wet the soil down to five inches. This small amount of watering will not restore the grass to its natural green colour but will keep it alive until the rains come,” he instructed.

He advised that when the rain comes, it is best to install a suitable barrel to collect rainwater for use in your garden.

For more water conservation tips visit the JN Foundation’s Water Project website at waterprojectja.com

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