By Emily Casey, Water Conservation Coordinator

Photo from USA Today

In 2018, the Gallatin River Task Force issued 24 rebates to 19 participants who upgraded a total of 46 indoor and outdoor products through Big Sky Water Conservation. In total, participants have saved enough water this year to fill an Olympic-size swimming pool.

Savings into the future

Since the start of Big Sky Water Conservation, participants have saved over 1.3 million gallons a year. These water savings will continue throughout the life span of each product upgraded.

The work participants did last year to prioritize water conservation at home creates resilience in community water supplies and long-term watershed health.

What can you expect to save when you upgrade?

The Big Sky Water Conservation program offers rebates for the highest water use products indoors and outdoors. WaterSense toilets and shower heads use, on average, about 20% less water than standard models. EnergyStar washers can be as much as 40% more efficient. These products save water and energy while performing as well as, or better than, standard models. Per household, these savings work out to be anywhere from 6-42 gallons saved each day. Estimate how much you may save using the WaterSense calculator.

Not-your-average water wise tips

Water conservation comes in many sizes and shapes. We hope some of these tips can be incorporated into the daily habitats of your household.

  • Bring your own water bottle and refill it throughout the day. This one’s a Water Wise two-fer; reduce plastic pollution while drinking Big Sky’s nationally-ranked, best-tasting tap water.
  • Use leftover food coloring from baking to check for toilet leaks.
  • Place food to thaw on the counter, in the fridge, or in the microwave instead of running tap water.
  • For all the hardcore water conservationists out there, soap up without the water running in the shower.
  • Select the appropriate pan size while cooking; large pans may require more water than necessary.
  • Dropped an ice cube? Throw it in a houseplant instead of the sink.

Tell us how you were water wise last year.

How did you practice conservation-minded uses of water at home or work in 2018? What can you do to improve in 2019?

Each dropped saved remains in the river.

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