April 18, 2014

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May is water awareness month: Take the 40 gallon water challenge

Come on, Kentucky, Georgia and Alabama are leaving us in the dust! Yes, it’s just a friendly competition, but we need all the help we can get to prove Kentucky cares about the environment.

Help the Commonwealth win the water conservation challenge by participating. Here’s how you can save 40 gallons of water a day for your county and Kentucky pledge now.

Across the southern United States individuals are taking the 40 Gallon Challenge. The 40 Gallon Challenge is a regional campaign that challenges residents to conserve at least 40 gallons of water per day. Currently, Kentucky only has two pledges, on par with Virginia and Mississippi and well below some of the high-pledging states.

You can look at each state’s pledges by rolling your cursor over the interactive map at http://www.40gallonchallenge.org.

Georgia has a whopping 307 pledges at this writing!

On average Kentuckians use anywhere from 100 to 150 gallons of water per person, per day. To eliminate any excuses, here are some of the no-cost water-saving suggestions you can start doing today:

•    Run the dishwasher only when full (saves 2 gallons)
•    Turn off water in between rinsing dishes or brushing teeth (saves 5 and 8 gallons)
•    Shorten showers; fill bathtub only half-full (saves 5 and 18 gallons)
•    Do not use the toilet as a garbage can (saves 2 gallons)
•    Reduce laundry by one load a week; wash full loads only (saves 5 gallons)
•    Start a compost pile for food waste (saves 4 gallons)
•    Capture water in a rain barrel for irrigation (saves 5 gallons)
•    Sweep sidewalks and driveways with a broom rather than spraying with hose (saves 22 gallons)
•    Limit and reduce lawn and garden irrigation (depending, can save 20-80 gallons)
•    Mulch two to three inches around trees and plants (saves 25 gallons).

Taking the 40 Gallon Challenge is as simple as filling out the Pledge Card, either online at http://www.40gallonchallenge.org/ or at your local Extension office.

For more information, contact the Pendleton County Cooperative Extension Service.