Drought is when there is abnormally low rainfall resulting in a shortage of water.


  • Check all plumbing for leaks and have any leaks repaired by a plumber.
  • Retrofit all household faucets by installing aerators with flow restrictors.
  • Choose appliances that are more energy and water efficient.
  • Consider purchasing a low-volume toilet that uses less than half the water of older models. Note: In many areas, low-volume units are required by law.
  • Plant native and/or drought-tolerant grasses, ground covers, shrubs, and trees.
  • Install irrigation devices that are the most water efficient for each use, such as micro and drip irrigation, and soaker hoses.
  • Use mulch to retain moisture in the soil.
  • Consider rainwater harvesting where practical.
  • Repair sprinklers that spray a fine mist.
  • Raise the lawn mower blade to at least three inches or to its highest level. A higher cut encourages grass roots to grow deeper, shades the root system, and holds soil moisture.


  • Avoid flushing the toilet unnecessarily.
  • Avoid taking baths—take short showers—turn on water only to get wet and lather and then again to rinse off.
  • Avoid letting the water run while brushing your teeth, washing your face or shaving.
  • Hand wash dishes by filling two containers—one with soapy water and the other with rinse water containing a small amount of chlorine bleach.
  • Store drinking water in the refrigerator.
  • Avoid wasting water waiting for it to get hot. Capture it for other uses such as plant watering or heat it on the stove or in a microwave.
  • Avoid over watering your lawn and water only when needed
  • In extreme drought, allow lawns to die in favor of preserving trees and large shrubs.

Source: U.S. Federal Emergency Management Agency