Water Sustainability Practices

Water conservation is always in style no matter where you live. But we in the Southwest have an extra responsibility to take care of our precious water supply. As weather patterns change, it is more critical than ever to take a look at your water-saving habits, and to employ the best practices whether you’re at home or work. Here are some solutions that can help ensure that you are contributing to the long-term water health of our community.  

Easy and Short Term Solutions

Our daily habits make a huge difference in water overuse. Even if you can’t employ them all, which of these can you commit to doing daily to have a significant water saving impact? Get your family, friends, and colleagues on board to multiply the effects of your water saving do-goodery. 

  • Take showers instead of baths.

  • Take shorter showers.

  • Invest in a low-flow showerhead. 

  • Position sprinklers carefully to actually water vegetation, and not sidewalks, walls, or the street.

  • Water your outdoor plants, or set sprinkler timers to run during the cooler parts of the morning or evening to prevent excess evaporation.

  • Be water-aware when washing dishes. Turn the water off between scrubbing and rinsing dishes, OR if you have a dishwasher, then only run it when it is full. 

  • Reuse your water. Don’t throw out your pasta water! Instead use it to water your outdoor plants. 

  • Lighten your laundry load and reuse towels and sheets for a few days so you’re not wasting water. 

Future and Longer-Term Solutions

As a Durango local, you have a great opportunity to create a more sustainable future for our community by making some larger, longer-term investments in the health of our water system. Again, no need to overhaul all of your habits, but please take a long hard look at where you can make the largest impact.

  • Identify and fix leaks: be on the lookout for the main water wasting culprits such as running toilets, dripping faucets, etc. 

  • Install a high-efficiency shower head, and you could save up to a gallon of water per minute of showering! 

  • Use less water-heavy landscaping: hire a landscaper who is familiar with regenerative landscaping ideologies such as xeriscaping, permaculture, or even edible landscaping to get the most out of your property without overuse of water resources. 

  • If you’re not ready to overhaul all of the vegetation on your property, at least consider drought tolerant plants. There are plenty of nurseries in town who can help you choose water-friendly flora for your yard without breaking the budget. 

  • Add mulch to your lawn or garden to conserve water in your yard. It can help prevent both evaporation and weed growth.

  • Collect rainwater! Plenty of hardware stores in town sell rain barrels for collecting rainwater. As of this writing, it is legal in the state of Colorado to collect rainwater in up to two rain barrels with a combined capacity of 110 gallons. And it should be noted that the collected water is only to be used on the property where it was collected, and for outdoor purposes only.

  • Invest in water-conserving appliances such as clothing washers and dishwashers, and low-flow toilets. 


Water conservation is serious business, especially here in the Southwest. As community members, we are invested in creating a sustainable long-term future for our region, and all of its inhabitants. Our individual and collective water use habits have a direct impact on the health of this watershed. Thank you for being a responsible community member and prioritizing water conservation as part of your duty of living within this magnificent community.