Nosara Water Saving Tips
After browsing the brochures and marketing materials first time visitors to Costa Rica could be forgiven for thinking the entire country is comprised of rich, lush, tropical rainforest and jungle. Sure, there’s a lot of that. However, for such a small country the terrain throughout Costa varies wildly, ranging from the aforementioned rainforest, to cityscapes, pastures, and even dry, arid areas. Guanacaste, particularly for nearly six months of the year is one of those dry areas. Yes, September and October witness storm and rain that border on the biblical, and there’s plenty of occasional rain in the months leading up, but for the remaining six months of the year Guanacaste is hot, dry, and rain free.
Although this makes for the perfect vacation for many, it is also the source of many pressing dilemmas for the local water authorities. In fact, both residents and tourists know how it feels to have their water turned off during the day and night because supply simply can’t keep up with demand. Despite tireless, ongoing efforts from the Nosaras local ASADA team to keep the water flowing and meet the towns needs shortages remain a problem. Although much work has recently taken place to update the old and dated infrastructure the water system still faces a number of problems including outdated tanks, fractured pipes and underfunded management.
To make matters worse, as visitor numbers increase by the year, as do the numbers of foreigners choosing to make Nosara their permanent home, the problem is only set to worsen. If the forecasting is accurate then the future holds increased numbers of water shortages. This is why it is the responsibility of all Nosara residents to take whatever action they can, from the meager to the massive, to ensure they save the vital water we so desparately rely on.
The following list was compiled by ASADA. For more information on how to take an active role in water conservation please visit their website:
1 Report all broken pipes to the ASADA immediately.
2 Run appliances sparingly. Only wash dishes and clothes on a full load.
3 Check your entire home for leaks. Read your water meter, stop using water for 2 hours, and read again. If the meter is spinning or readings differ, you have a leak.
4 Repair visible leaks. Even a small drip wastes more than 50 gallons a day. If you rent, report a leak to the property manager if you don’t feel comfortable fixing it.
5 Check your toilets for leaks. Add food coloring to the toilet tank once a month. If the toilet has a leak, color will appear in the bowl within 30 minutes.
6 Upgrade to low-flow showerheads, which use less than half as much water as conventional ones and could save you an estimated 800 gallons a month.
7 Retrofit household faucets with aerators to restrict flow and reduce water waste.
8 Reduce shower time. If all family members shorten their showers by 1 to 2 minutes, you will save an estimated 700 gallons of water a month.
9 Turn off the water while brushing your teeth to save 3 gallons a day.
10 Flush toilets only when necessary. Don’t flush insects, tissue, or other waste.
11 Defrost meat in the refrigerator. Avoid thawing food under running water.
12 Soak pots and pans before washing.
13 Reuse cooking water. After it cools, use it to water house plants.
14 Rinse produce under in a pan, not under running water. Save up to 200 gallons of water a month.
15 Reuse towels multiple times. Adopt this practice at home and in hotels.
16 Cover swimming pools to reduce evaporation.
17 Adjust irrigation regularly. Aim water where it’s needed, not the side of the house or the patio, and turn off the hose from mid-morning to early afternoon.
18 Landscape strategically. Consult a landscape professional or research drought- resistant, drought-tolerant gardens.
19 Take advantage of the weather. Install rain barrels or tanks under downspouts to catch runoff during a storm. Use rainwater in the garden to keep plants moist.
If you are looking into more ways to preserve Nosara and it’s nature, check out this article about recycling in Nosara