INDOOR WATER USAGE
The first thing to do is to check for leaks. You may have water leaks going on that you weren't even aware of. They can account for as much as 14% of your total indoor water usage, so it's worth the time and effort to check out. The City of Scottsdale offers a free Self-Water Audit Guide & Kit, which you can order here.
Next, consider replacing your current shower heads and toilets with low-flow options, installing a hot water recirculator or adding an aerator to each faucet in your Scottsdale home. The City offers rebates for low-flow toilets up to $75, up to $5 per shower head and as much as $200 for hot water recirculators that meet city codes. A faucet aerator changes the output of a faucet from one large rushing stream to several droplets. This gets the same job done with much less water usage. The City of Scottsdale has a program in place that gives each resident two free aerators per household. You can download an application for your free aerators here.
OUTDOOR WATER USAGE
This is where most of Scottsdale residents' water usage goes (approximately 70% of the total usage per household). Simply covering your outdoor pool can reduce water evaporation, making you have to refill it much less often. When you do have to drain the pool, you can use that water for your landscape. Just make sure you don't add any chemicals to it for at least 72 hours before you drain it.
For regular lawn maintenance, invest in an automatic timer for your sprinkler system. They are available at any home improvement store. Use soaker hoses in your gardens and flower beds. They are much more efficient at delivering water directly to the roots, where it is needed, so there is no waste. Use plants and flowers that are well-suited to a dry, desert environment, such as aloe vera, fairy dusters and Mexican honeysuckle. These thrive with almost no water whatsoever.
When you reduce your Scottsdale home water usage, you also reduce your costs and the toll it takes on the environment. As an added bonus, you can use these new eco-friendly techniques as selling points in the future. That's an investment that is worth it's weight in gold!
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Originally posted on my Northeast Scottsdale real estate blog here: http://www.northeastscottsdale.com/reduce-your-scottsdale-home-water-usage/.