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Regional Water Authority asks people of Greater New Haven to reduce water usage

drought lawn sprinkler

NEW HAVEN — The state has seen a severe lack of rain over the last several months, and now many communities are being asked to reduce their water usage.

Tuesday, the Regional Water Authority, which operates in Greater New Haven, asked customers to voluntarily reduce their water use by 10 percent. The past weekend’s rains were not nearly enough to overcome the drought. The South Central Connecticut Regional Water Authority provides water to almost 430,000 people in 15 cities and towns.

“We are asking our customers to help by eliminating unnecessary water use and taking steps to avoid wasting water,” said Kate Powell, spokesperson for the Regional Water Authority.

The Waterbury Bureau of Water also announced that due to reservoirs dropping below 50 percent capacity, the city was issuing a drought warning, which includes mandatory water use restrictions. Customers are requested to reduce usage by 20 percent, and not use water for outdoor recreation maintenance use.

According to the National Weather Service and the U.S. Drought Monitor, the current drought is expected to last at least through the end of the year.

“While our supplies in our reservoirs, overall, are adequate, and we have a number of sources and operational flexibility to meet our customers’ needs, given the pattern of diminished precipitation and indications this weather pattern will continue, we felt it was prudent to ask our residential and business customers to voluntarily conserve water,” said RWA Vice President of Asset Management, Ted Norris.

“Water is essential to life. Having an adequate supply for drinking, public health, fire protection and the environment is the RWA’s top priority. We are asking our customers to help by eliminating unnecessary water use and taking steps to avoid wasting water. This will reduce the demands on our water supplies, reduce stress on local water resources and on the environment, and ensure sufficient water is available. We are committed to supplying our customers while maintaining the health of streams and rivers in our area. With everyone’s careful use of water, we can continue to meet the needs of our consumers and the environment,” Norris added.

Here are some things RWA suggests you can do:

  • Check for any dripping faucets or running toilets. A leaky faucet that drips at the rate of one drip per second can waste more than 3,000 gallons of water per year. The average leaky toilet can waste about 200 gallons of water per day. That’s over 6,000 gallons of water a month.
  • A bath typically uses up to 70 gallons of water, whereas a five-minute shower will use only 10-25 gallons depending on the efficiency of your showerhead. So shower to save water.
  • Turning off the faucet while brushing your teeth can save as much as four gallons of water. If you brush your teeth in the morning and at night, that adds up to saving 200 gallons of water a month. The same is true when you wash your hands.
  • When cleaning dishes, scrape your dirty dishes into the trash, and then put them into the dishwasher. The average dishwasher uses six gallons of water per cycle; more efficient dishwashers use four gallons per cycle. A running faucet uses about two gallons per minute.
  • Wash only full loads of clothes. Older top-loading machines use40 gallons of water to wash a full load. Today’s newer standard models use 27 gallons, and more efficient Energy Star washers use 14 gallons per wash.
  • Use a broom instead of a hose to clean patios, sidewalks and driveways. Water flows from a hose at about six gallons of water a minute. If it takes 30 minutes to clean a patio or deck, using a broom saves 500 gallons of water.
  • Wash your car at a car wash. Washing your car at home can use between 40 and 140 gallons of water. Washing your car at a car wash where water is cleaned and recycled uses about 15 gallons of fresh water for each wash.
  • Use only non-potable water to water your lawn and gardens. Use a bucket to catch extra water when you run the water before a shower. If you take a bath, use the bath water to water trees, shrubs and non-edible plants (not your vegetable or herb gardens).

You can learn more from RWA here.