Come on Pittsburg County. Join with other residents across Oklahoma and beyond our borders in diving into taking the 40 Gallon Water Challenge! Across the United States individuals are taking the 40 Gallon Challenge.

The 40 Gallon Challenge is a campaign that challenges residents to conserve at least 40 gallons of water per day. Currently Oklahoma only has 169 pledges to save over 22,000 gallons of water per day. You can view our state’s pledges by rolling over the interactive map at http://www.40gallonchallenge.org.

The 40-Gallon Challenge allows Oklahomans to compete against other Americans who are taking the challenge in their states.

At the program’s website, www.40gallonchallenge.org , Oklahomans can pledge to adopt water- saving practices and see how many gallons of water they can expect to save.

The website also shows the most popular practices being pledged, the pledged practices that are saving the most water daily, and counties and states that are pledging the most daily savings.

For example, shortening your daily shower by two minutes will save eight gallons per day. Repairing a leaky faucet will save 15 gallons per day. And replacing an old toilet with a new low-flush one will save eight gallons per day.”

According to an Oklahoma Water Resource Board publication, the average Oklahoman uses approximately 60 gallons of water per day. To eliminate any excuses, here are some of the no- cost water-saving suggestions you can start doing today:

1. Run the dishwasher only when full (saves 2 gallons).

2. Turn off water in between rinsing dishes or brushing teeth (saves 5 and 8 gallons).

3. Shorten showers; fill bathtub only half-full (saves 5 and 18 gallons).

4. Do not use the toilet as a garbage can (saves 2 gallons).

5. Reduce laundry by one load a week; wash full loads only (saves 5 gallons).

6. Start a compost pile for food waste (saves 4 gallons).

7. Capture water in a rain barrel for irrigation (saves 5 gallons).

8. Sweep sidewalks and driveways with a broom rather than spraying with hose (saves 20- 80 gallons).

9. Limit and reduce lawn and garden irrigation (depending, can save 20-80 gallons).

10. Mulch two to three inches around trees and plants (saves 25 gallons).

11. 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.

Less than 1 percent of the Earth’s water is fresh water available for drinking, bathing, cleaning, cooking, manufacturing and growing agricultural crops. From a global perspective, demands for fresh water will double every 20 years as the world population continues to grow. Saving water is the right thing to do for us and for future generations.

To start saving water and take the challenge, go to the website www.40gallonchallenge.org and complete the checklist of water-saving practices. The checklist includes both indoor and outdoor water-saving tips.

Rachel Lockwood is the Family Consumer Science Extension Educator with Pittsburg County OSU Cooperative Extension Service. For more information related to this topic or related FCS programs contact Rachel at 918-423-4120, email Rachel.lockwood@okstate.edu or on Pittsburg County OSU Website http://oces.okstate.edu/pittsburg/ or find Pittsburg County OSU ExtensionCenter or Pittsburg County OHCE on Facebook.

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