Over the past few weeks the most persistent topic of conversation in Iroquois County seems to be the weather, or rather the lack of rain and excessive temperatures. According to the National Weather Service Climate Prediction Center, Part of Iroquois County is in a severe drought and the forecast is for continued above average temperatures and below average precipitation through at least the end of September. Drought, as defined by the US Geological Survey, is a condition of moisture deficit sufficient to have an adverse effect on vegetation, animals and man over a sizeable area. So, how has the drought impacted you and what are you doing about it?
The crops in our area are suffering. As water levels in ponds, lakes and streams decrease, the demand for water is increasing. Whether you are using water for livestock, your lawn and garden, or your pool, the demand is growing but the water levels are not being replenished. While there are not any local water conservation orders in place at this time, the Iroquois County Soil and Water Conservation District would like to remind ALL residents of Iroquois County that we need to do what we can to conserve water. Water conservation is important all year, but especially during times of severe drought. Only 1% of the earth’s water is readily available for our use and it is essential that we practice conservation. The United States EPA estimates a family of four uses 400 gallons of water every day. Here are some ways that you can conserve water:
- Run the clothes washer and dishwasher only when it is full. You can save 1000 gallons a month.
- Wash your fruits and vegetables in a pan of water instead of running from the tap. Then use the pan water to hydrate your houseplants.
- If your shower fills a one-gallon bucket in less than 20 seconds, replace the showerhead with a water efficient model.
- Shorten your shower by a minute or two and you’ll save up to 150 gallons a month.
- Turn off the water while brushing your teeth and save 25 gallons a month.
For more ways to conserve water call Iroquois County SWCD.