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Hey Vadnais Heights, here are 10 ways you can save water

A city official said high water use was because it has more girls who take long showers.

In the news this week is Vadnais Heights, which is among 10 northeast suburban cities included in a court order to reduce its water use.

The city has the highest per capita water use out of 10 municipalities ordered to reduce their consumption because of the falling levels in White Bear Lake.

Its residents consume 83 gallons a day, and it's been ordered to reduce it to below 75 gallons, the Vadnais Heights Press reports.

But the main reason focus has fallen on Vadnais Heights in particular is because a city engineer's "best guess" for why the city's consumption is so high is because it has "more girls who take long showers."

We're not going to comment on that rather controversial argument, instead we've scoured online environmental experts to find some sure-fire tips for saving water.

1. Turn off the faucet while brushing your teeth, washing your hands

It's the one that's always cited when it comes to water conservation, yet many people still do this.

Water comes from taps at rates of 2.5 gallons per minute, Care 2 notes, so shut it off while you're brushing and lathering.

2. Get a water efficient showerhead

If you are spending too long in the shower (whether you're a man or a woman), then you can reduce the guilt by opting for a water-efficient showerhead. 

Watersense showerheads sold at Home Depot, for example, reckons it can save a household 2,900 gallons per year.

3. A bucket in the shower

Know how you run water before you jump in the shower so it can warm up? Well put a bucket down to collect the cold water and you can then use it to water plants, flush the toilet or for general cleaning.

4. Fix your leaks

Leaks in faucets, connectors and hosepipes can lose you hundreds of gallons every year, so make sure you check regularly so that everything is tight as a drum.

5. Dishwasher over handwashing

This one was a surprise, but apparently an efficient dishwasher will save water compared to hand-washing your dishes, according to Earth Easy, saving as much as 5,000 gallons a year.

Only use it on full loads though to get maximum water efficiency.

If you are washing dishes, don't keep the water running to rinse your dishes, put them soapy into your dish rack and then rinse by spraying them.

6. Don't use permanent press for laundry

Another tip from Earth Easy is to avoid the permanent press cycle on your washing machine, which it says adds an extra 5 gallons per cycle.

7. Reuse your pasta water ... on your plants

Don't throw away the water when you boil pasta, Care 2 notes, instead you should drain it into a large pot and, when it's cooled, use it to water your plants.

Also, you don't need to completely submerge your pasta, or any veggies, with water either. Use less and you're more likely to retain nutrients.

8. Water your lawn when it's cooler

Water Calculator says you should try to avoid watering your lawn, but if you must do it, water in the early morning or late evening when it's cooler and you lose less to evaporation.

9. Don't sprinkle sidewalks or roads

If you have a sprinkler system, make sure it's not spraying onto sidewalks because a) it wastes water, and b) it's really irritating for people walking by.

10. Leave your lawn longer

We know that a closely-cropped lawn can be a thing of beauty, but if you leave it one notch higher on your mower, it'll save water because longer grass means less evaporation, Water Calculator notes.

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