A drought is a period of drier than normal conditions that results in water-related problems. Drought occurs in virtually all climatic zones, but its characteristics vary significantly from one region to another.  Drought is a temporary condition; it differs from aridity, which is restricted to low rainfall regions and is a permanent feature of climate.


The following tips can help you conduct your own home water audit:

• Check every faucet, toilet, showerhead, and hose bib for leaks. Even slow drips can use 15-20 gallons of water per day.
• Check for hidden leaks in your water system. Turn off all faucets, then check your water meter. Wait 15 minutes, if the water meter has changed, you may have a leak.
• Flush toilets only when needed. Use a water displacement device inside the tank to utilize less water.
• Shorten your shower time. A 10 minute shower uses from 30 to 80 gallons of water.
• Turn off the water while you brush your teeth. Keep a pitcher of cold water in the refrigerator, instead letting it run until it’s cold from the faucet.
•When washing dishes by hand, turn off the water between rinsing. Only run full dishwashers and washing machines.
•Try composting instead of using a garbage disposal. Your garden will love you and you can reduce the use of costly soil amendments while you save disposal water!
• If you are remodeling or upgrading appliances, consider more resource efficient models. Many rebates are available.
• Water in the early morning, more deeply and less often. Consider low-water landscaping, or Xeriscape and/or drip irrigation - watering only the plantings.

Public Works staff is also available to help locate leaks and to offer other water saving tips in Albany, Corvallis and Philomath. Call 917-7629 (tips) or 917-7600 (to report leaking water lines) in Albany, 766-6916 in Corvallis; and, 929-3579 in Philomath.