Some of us may not feel it, but our planet’s clean drinking water supply is running out—fast. Even though the earth’s surface is 71 percent water, only 2.5 percent of that is fresh. To make matters worse, the 1 percent of the freshwater that is accessible and drinkable is trapped inside glaciers and snowfields. Suffice to say, we have a lot to do to conserve whatever water is left on earth.

Water is one of the most basic human resources we need in our day-to-day lives. Without water, there’s no chance for humans to survive. So if you see a faucet dripping water, do your part and turn off or tighten that leaky faucet (whatever the case may be). In today’s post, let’s talk about a few ways to help save water.

Fix plumbing problems

When you spot a clogged drain, a running toilet, or even a leaky pipe, don’t turn a blind eye—go and have it fixed at once. If you can do it yourself, that would be a nice addition to your home DIY repertoire. However, if you don’t have the necessary tools or know-how to repair leaky plumbing, then calling a professional plumber to get the job done is a must.

You may need to buy new pipes and gaskets or pay the plumber a hefty amount, but that is a lot better than wasting gallons of water each day. What’s worse, the longer you wait to repair leaky plumbing or have it fixed for you, the bigger your water bill will be. Thus, it’s better to fix your pipes immediately or have your entire house plumbing checked by a professional.

Spread the benefits of water conservation

There will come a time when the world becomes so hot that bushfires and destroyed forests will be a normal everyday occurrence. When that time comes, we have nobody to blame but ourselves because we did not save water when it mattered the most. Of course, we can’t really keep blaming ourselves and other people for not knowing what to do in times of natural calamities. But what we can do, however, is to tell others what needs to be done in order to save water for the future.

If you see a friend brushing their teeth while the water is running, tell them to use a glass instead. When you see your neighbour washing their car with the hose on, give them a bucket of water. There’s very little we can do in times of natural calamities. But with the resources, we can control—that is, water—all these little things add up to become great things we can do for our planet.

Install water-efficient devices

These days, water-efficient plumbing devices in the market don’t cost that much, and the advantages in the water saved are huge. Devices such as faucet aerators, shower timers, dual-flush toilet converters are going to save a household upward of 6,000 gallons of water a year (and in equivalent utility bills) while keeping the water flow the same. Other devices like rainwater collection systems and water storage tanks allow you to collect rainwater or store mains water for future use or as an alternative to the main water supply. Some of these devices wouldn’t cost as much while some may take a big chunk off your wallet, but installing these devices at home is your commitment to conserving water.

Establish water-saving rules at home

Water conservation starts at home. No matter where you are in the world, setting rules will prevent water wastage and build positive habits toward saving our planet itself. Perhaps, one of the most common rules to set at home is the “do not flush tissue papers and napkins down the toilet” rule. Properly disposing of tissue papers and sanitary napkins will not clog up the sewage system, lowering your risk of plumbing disasters and wasting less water. Setting this simple rule may seem insignificant, but if all of us do it, think of how much water we can collectively save.

Practice rainwater collection at home

Unless we can find a cost-efficient, environment-friendly way to convert seawater into fresh drinking water, we’ll have to find alternative water sources for our everyday needs. One alternative to using municipal or main water supply is tapping into a renewable water source already available to us—rainwater.

Harvesting rainwater is not an alien concept but has been going on since time immemorial. However, the increasing pollutants in the atmosphere in the advent of the industrial revolution and modern technology has certainly affected rainwater, to the point rainwater is deemed undrinkable in certain areas. But that’s not to say there’s no use for rainwater.

Investing in a rainwater collection system and a large rainwater tank such as plastic or steel rainwater tanks for a business and slimline or underdeck rainwater tanks for homes can pay dividends in the long run—that is, when you’re concerned with conserving freshwater and minimizing dependence on locally treated water supply. The stored rainwater could then be used as an alternative water source that can be used in farm irrigation, household chores, and even in powering small industries. You can even depend on rainwater as a drinking water source, provided the water has been tested and when several filtration and purifying equipment are installed to clean the rainwater in the tank. It’s about time we use the water that the skies above give us now.

There is nothing like knowing how to save water. If you see a water faucet left open, do your part and close it. After that, tell the last person who used it to remember turning it off the next time around. There is no harm done by reminding that person what happens if they forget to do that. All these ways may be a small step for each of us, but this is a giant leap for water and, in effect, planet conservation.