Water Conservation

Current Drought Conditions

NH Drought Map 92420 Opens in new window

September 24, 2020 Update:

As of September 24, drought conditions in New Hampshire continue to worsen. Now communities just to the east of Concord have entered extreme drought conditions, effecting 8.47% of the state. At this time, Concord remains to be in a severe drought with severe drought conditions now in 88.54% of New Hampshire. The precipitation deficit continues to grow, now at 9.83 inches below average for this time of year. There does not appear to be a lot of rain anticipated in the upcoming forecast, but the National Weather Service does predict a normal probability of precipitation for the region in the next 8-14 days.

Concord’s water production last week was a daily average of 5.0 MGD (millions of gallons per day), which is less than the 5.4 MGD daily average from the week before, but consumption continues to trend 10% higher than the average of the last 3 years and the drought year of 2016. Dry conditions are persisting and recent warmer temperatures have been returning which has led to continued irrigation and outdoor water use. Thankfully the changing of the seasons led to some decrease in water consumption compared to this summer’s high average of 6.5 MGD (which is about 1 MGD+ more than the average summer). We are hopeful that we will see continued decrease in consumption as fall continues with less need for irrigation.

We remind everyone to please use water wisely and minimize outdoor water use. Concord’s water supply remains healthy while supplementing from the Contoocook River, but water conservation is still highly recommended to maintain our water source and to keep the City’s water production within reasonable limits. Drought conditions will continue to be monitored closely. Watering restrictions are not currently in place for Concord, but it is possible restrictions could be implemented if there is a pattern of high water consumption and drought conditions continue. We thank everyone for their efforts to conserve water. Every drop counts! Learn more about the ongoing drought conditions at http://droughtmonitor.unl.edu and www.des.nh.gov.  

Return to this page for drought updates. Find water conservation tips below.

Conservation Tips

Did you know that less than 1% of all the water on Earth is available for human consumption? The average American uses over 80 gallons of water a day and clean drinking water is becoming a vanishing resource. It’s important to preserve water resources and conserving water can help. 

The City of Concord saves water with help from the City’s Water Conservation Technician by conducting leak detection surveys, performing water audits, and partnering with the EPA’s WaterSense Program. Reduce your water use to preserve Concord’s water source, Penacook Lake. Conserve water to help sustain it for future generations.

Here are some ways to conserve water and possibly save money on your water bill:

Outdoor Conservation

Outdoor Conservation

  • Car Washing - Wash your car in sections and rinse with short spurts from the hose. If you need to wash often, go to a car wash that recycles water. Try to wash cars near plant life to allow overflow to benefit the greenery.
  • Planting - Select native species that don’t need as much water or are drought tolerant. Mulch heavily to retain moisture in the soil. Let grass grow higher in dry weather – saves burning and saves water.
  • Irrigation & Lawn Watering - Practice smart watering. Water slowly and as infrequently as possible. If it is raining or has recently rained, outdoor watering is not needed and irrigation systems or sprinklers should be turned off. Consider a weather based controller instead of a clock based timer. Try using a rain barrel as a source of irrigation water. Inspect lawn irrigation systems annually to prevent misaligned heads from wasting water. Keep a close watch on wind shifts while using sprinklers. If watering is needed, water at night or early morning to minimize evaporation, preferably between the hours of 7:00 p.m. to 8:00 a.m. 
  • Pool - Cover the swimming pool when not in use to prevent evaporation. Avoid over-filling to prevent spilling.

Bathroom Conservation

Bathroom Waste

  • Toilet - Do not flush to dispose of trash. Save water by flushing when necessary. Consider upgrading your toilet to a WaterSense labeled model, which requires less water when flushing. Displace water in the tank to save water by using plastic bottles or bags filled with water and weighted with pebbles. Check for leaks by listening for running water or by adding food coloring to the water tank. A leak is present if the coloring appears in the toilet bowl within the hour without flushing. Watch our instructional video on how to detect a toilet leak.
  • Shower / Tub - Turn off water while lathering and try to shower for less than five minutes with a light spray. A full tub can hold 50+ gallons of water, so if you use the tub do not overfill and try to use less than half. Check faucet for leaks and replace faulty fixtures.
  • Sink - Clean shaving razors and toothbrushes with an occasional burst of water. Do not keep the faucet running. Check faucet for leaks and replace faulty fixtures.

Kitchen Conservation

Replacing Bathroom Fixtures

  • Garbage Disposals - Use sparingly. Dispose waste in the garbage to minimize water use.
  • Washing Fruits & Vegetables - Use a vegetable brush for fruits and vegetables. Spray sparingly with short bursts of water.
  • Defrosting Food - Plan ahead to thaw frozen foods naturally without using water.
  • Washing Dishes - Pre-clean dishes by wiping them with paper napkins from your meal. Rinse everything all at once. Soak pots and pans overnight if necessary. Use a dishwasher for full loads only. Check faucet for leaks and replace faulty fixtures.
  • Drinking Water - Store water in the refrigerator or use ice cubes to get your water cold. Avoid running water at the tap to get cold water. Recycle any unused drinking water for other purposes.
  • Appliances - Use appliances that use the least amount of water and energy. Check connections for leaks.

Household Conservation

Household Leaks

  • Cleaning - Try to catch running water that you are warming up in a bucket and use this water for household cleaning. 
  • Pipes - Reduce waste by insulating hot water pipes to avoiding waiting for hot water at the tap. Inspect water pipes regularly for leaks in connections or pinholes. A pinhole leak can waste up to 170 gallons of water a day.
  • Washing Machine - Newer machines typically allow you to select load cycles and water levels. Select minimal water use, or only wash full loads. Use cold water to save energy and money.