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Even the most devoted conservationist may find it difficult to conserve water during the dog days of summer.

How to conserve waterConserving natural resources is often so simple that people make some adjustments without affecting their daily lives at all. But sometimes, it's not so easy to conserve.

Summer is one time of year when conservation efforts tend to require more sacrifice than usual. Even the most devoted conservationist may find it difficult to conserve water during the dog days of summer when drought and soaring temperatures make it challenging to maintain lawns and gardens. Thankfully, there are ways to help lawns and gardens withstand summer's dog days without wasting water.

Water wisely

Watering lawns and gardens in the early morning is a savvy move for various reasons. Heat-related illnesses such as heat stroke and heat exhaustion seriously threaten people of all ages, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends cooling off in air-conditioned places as temperatures climb. By watering their lawns and gardens early in the morning, homeowners are ensuring they won't be outside watering during those times of day when their risk for heat stroke and heat exhaustion is at its peak. In addition, watering in the early morning when the sun has not yet reached its peak decreases the amount of water that will be lost to evaporation, thereby increasing the amount of water that will make it into water-needy lawns and gardens.

Shower at the beach

Beach enthusiasts can conserve water and save money on their water bills by taking quick showers at the beach to wash the sand off. A cold shower can be the perfect remedy after a long day of soaking up some sun at the beach. And because beach showers use cold water, beachgoers are less likely to take luxurious, potentially wasteful showers than they might at home.

Take nights off from doing dishes

Hand-washing dishes may seem more effective in conserving water than using a dishwasher, but that's not the case. The National Resources Defense Council notes that hand-washing dishes can consume as many as 27 gallons of water, while Energy Star®-rated dishwashers consume just three gallons. Before running the dishwasher, make sure it's complete.

Cover your pool

Keeping pools covered during the dog days of summer reduces the likelihood that pool water will be lost to evaporation. The GRACE Communications Foundation, a nonprofit organization dedicated to creating sustainable food systems, notes that uncovered pools can lose as much as 1,000 gallons of water to evaporation each month. Conserving water during the dog days of summer may require some sacrifice. But such sacrifices are easier than many people may expect.

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