Its January in Denver – where’s the snow? Its hard not to notice how little snow we’ve had this season. And while Denver is down in total snow count, it’s the mountains we need to be most concerned with. Lack of snow means drought conditions this coming summer. Higher fire danger, water restrictions – we may be in for a wild summer once again.

While we can’t control the weather or the amount of snow we get, we can control the overall amount of water we use. Take a look at these tips and make sure you are doing everything you can to be water smart.

1. Never pour water down the drain if you can use it for another purpose. Empty your water bottle into your indoor plants or save it in your watering can.

2. Check for leaks throughout your home. Even the smallest of leaks can add up to thousands of gallons of wasted water per year.

3. Repair dripping faucets immediately. One drop per second can add up to 2,700 gallons of water per year.

4. Replace all fixtures with low flow or water saving features. In some cases you can even receive a rebate for installing.

5. Take shorter showers.

6. Add a water circulation system to have instant hot water any time you want it.

7. Operate dishwashers and washing machines only when they are full.

8. Store drinking water in the refrigerator if you don’t have a water dispenser in your fridge. No more running the tap for cool water.

9. Use sink disposals at a minimum. Instead, throw things away or start a compost – your garden will love you for it.

10. Never waste water waiting for it to get hot. Capture all water and use it for other purposes.

11. Never let the water run while brushing your teeth or washing your face.

12. If you have a well at home, check it periodically to ensure you don’t have a leak.

13. Avoid flushing the toilet unnecessarily. Dispose of tissues, insects and other items in the trash rather than flushing.

14. Don’t over-water your lawn – it doesn’t have to be the greenest in the neighborhood. Make sure you turn off automatic sprinklers when we do receive rain.

15. Keep a close eye on sprinkler patterns, especially if they turn on and off while you sleep. Make sure they are truly watering your lawn and plants, and not the street or the driveway.

16. Raise the lawn mower blade to its highest level. A higher cut encourages the roots to drow deeper and will keep it moist longer.

17. Dig up some of your grass and plant native or drought tolerant plants instead.

18. Use a broom or blower instead of water to clean your sidewalks and patios from dropped leaves and grass clippings.

19. Avoid installing ponds and ornamental water features unless they use recycled water.

20. Follow all water conservation and water shortage rules. Even if you are on a well, your habits still affect our natural terrain. Be conscious of what you use water for, and only use what you truly need.