By Ariel Baror
Water has always been a precious resource in Israel, especially during winters like this one that started out quite warm and dry. You can help the conservation efforts and save on water bills by implementing
these simple tips to cut back on your water consumption.
LOCATE AND FIX ANY LEAKS
Undetected leaks account for a lot of wasted water! If your water bill seems suspiciously high, or if you’ve noticed any dampness or paint bubbling or peeling on your walls—that can indicate a leak in your pipes. Call in an experienced plumber to check your plumbing and locate and fix any leaks.
USE WATERSAVING FAUCETS AND SHOWERHEADS
Water-saving faucets and showerheads restrict the amount of water that flows through them while using greater pressure to work as efficiently as other types. They are easy to install, and you can find them in any hardware store.
USE THE HALFFLUSH BUTTON ON TOILETS WHEN RELEVANT
Most Israeli toilets have two buttons—one for a full flush (which empties the whole tank into the toilet bowl) and one for a half flush (which empties only half). Sometimes people find this confusing and just use the full flush button every time, but the half-flush is often sufficient. Placing a brick in the toilet tank can further reduce the amount of water used to flush.
DON’T LEAVE THE WATER RUNNING
When brushing your teeth or washing dishes, only leave the water running while you’re rinsing something. Using a sink, tub or pan full of water for rinsing dishes or vegetables can further save water.
KEEP A BUCKET IN YOUR SHOWER (OR OUT IN THE RAIN)
You know how you need to run the tap in the shower for a while before the water gets hot enough? Catch that water in a bucket and use it to water plants or wash your car—or even flush your toilet. Just empty some or all of the bucket into the toilet bowl to wash down the contents. You can also leave the bucket in the stall or bathtub while you shower to catch more water for that purpose. You can also leave a bucket out in the rain.
ONLY BOIL WHAT YOU NEED
If you’re boiling water for co£ee, don’t fill the kettle to the top; add just enough to fill your mug. That will save both the extra water you’ll end up dumping out, and the energy it takes to heat up more water. Half-full urn left over from Shabbat? Pour the remaining water into a pot and use it to cook pasta or rice!
GET A DISHWASHER AND RUN IT ONLY WHEN IT’S FULL
Dishwashers are more water-efficient than washing dishes by hand. Run it only when it’s full to maximize efficiency.
USE A EUROPEANSTYLE WASHING MACHINE
The American-style top-loading washing machines are notorious water-wasters. Fortunately, most Israeli homes are equipped with European-style front-loading machines, which are much more water-e¡cient. Some machines automatically adjust the amount of water they use according to the weight of the clothes in the tumble drum, but even so, washing only full loads is the most efficient option.
USE A BUCKET TO WASH YOUR CAR
Tempting though it may be to use a hose, it wastes a ton of water. But don’t despair; if you have kids
at home, they’ll probably love to help. Fill a bucket with soap and water, hand them some cleaning cloths or sponges and let them loose!
USE DRIP IRRIGATION
Drip irrigation is Israel’s most celebrated invention—take advantage. This efficient, water-saving
irrigation method utilizes pipes with small holes that release water slowly. This maximizes the absorption of every drop of water, allowing plants to grow with minimal water.
WATER YOUR LAWN AT NIGHT
Especially in the summer, water dries up very quickly during the day, and that means less water for your thirsty grass. If you have a timed sprinkler system, set it to go on at night. Or, ifyou really want to save water…
DON’T HAVE A LAWN
Grass is lovely, but maintaining a lush green lawn requires a great deal of water. Consider alternatives
for landscaping your yard, such as rock gardens, gravel, wood chips, tile, brick or wood. If you must have more greenery, ask your gardener about plants that are well-adapted to the Israeli climate and don’t need as much irrigation.
Ariel Baror is the founder of Master Plumbing, an exclusive plumbing contract company, which offers extensive services to private and commercial clients.
Ariel speaks Hebrew, English and Spanish. Ariel can be reached at 055-667-9037.