Water Conservation in Your Congregation




Why conserve water:

  • Fresh water is a precious and scarce commodity in the world.

  • Develop the habit of rationing water, because sustainable lifestyle requires it.

  • Reduce carbon emissions by using less hot water.

  • Lower energy use at water facilities plants.

  • Protect the local watershed from polluted runoff.

  • Save money for other ministries.


Efficiency, Conservation, and Protection.

  • Efficiency refers to products put in place to save energy and be Earth-friendly.

  • Conservation refers to human actions to save energy and be Earth-friendly.

  • Protection refers to human actions to protect Earth from degrading products and processes.


Efficiency actions:

  • Purchase Energy Star appliances.  www.energystar.gov.

  • Put low flow aerators on faucets in kitchen, bathrooms, and wash stations.

  • Install hand flush urinals. Replace continuous flush or automatic urinals.

  • Install low-flush toilets. Or use toilet balloons in older toilets to reduce water use.

  • Check faucets (+outside) and toilets regularly for leaks and runs. Repair immediately.

  • Install push-button faucets in bathrooms.

  • Set hot water temperature at moderate rate (around 140 degrees Fahrenheit).

  • Install on-demand water heating system.

  • Put blanket (at least 3 inches) around standard water heater.


Conservation actions:

  • Do not let faucet run.

  • Run dish washer only when full. Wash small loads by hand.

  • Rinse dishes for the dishwasher in a bowl rather than under running water.

  • Store drinking water in refrigerator. Do not run the faucet run until the water is cool.

  • Avoid bottled water. Use safe water bottle refilled with tap water.

  • Have members “bring your own” safe reusable water bottle to be filled.

  • Avoid use of disposal. It uses a lot of water. Compost food scraps.

  • Wash church cars/vans by hand (sponge and bucket) rather than in carwashes.

  • Sponsor a youth car wash for members.


Water Outside:

  • Use rain barrels to collect rain to water plants.

  • Native grasses require less watering. Avoid watering lawn at all.

  • Set the mower high to preserve moisture in the soil.

  • Mow less often and leave the grass clippings on the grass.

  • Plant trees to provide shade that preserves moisture in the soil.

  • Plant drought resistant shrubs and flowers.

  • Use watering can rather than hose for plants and flowers. Avoid sprinklers.

  • If you water at all, do so early in the morning or in the evenings.

  • Put bird baths to provide water for birds, when and where it is safe for standing water.


Protect the Environment:

  • Do not put toxic items down the drain: cleansers, bleach, detergents, and so on. Do not put grease, fat, or cooking oil down the drain. Make grease balls with nuts and raisin to hang for birds to feed on.

  • Avoid use of pesticides or herbicides or weed killers. These will run off into the water shed and pollute local waterways.

  • Plant rain gardens containing special plants with deep roots that absorb water so it does not runoff from roofs into the watershed or water ways.

  • Preserve part of the property as native prairie or have a section of untended wildflowers.


Educational actions:

  • Get the staff on board: maintenance, office workers, volunteers.

  • Put up reminder signs: Report water leaks. Do not let faucet run. Run dishwasher when full.

  • Bulletin instructions and explanations for water conservation.

  • Covenant: Invite members at worship to sign a community covenant to practice conservation.

  • Post this guide on the bulletin board or publish it in newsletter.

  • Promote these actions for members at home and work.


Advocacy and Public Witness:

  • Restore degraded water habitats such as local streams and lakes.

  • Promote the preservation of wetlands.

  • Learn about water problems around the globe.

  • Advocate for policies and laws to slow global warming.

  • Oppose practices of extraction for oil, gas, or minerals that threaten water resources.