Did everyone read Charles C. Mann's "The Rise of Big Water," in Vanity Fair's green issue? Holy H2O. Here at Plenty, we like to think we're in control of our eco-anxiety, but after having read Mann's comprehensive portrait of today's global water crisis, even we're having a tough time psychoanalyzing our way out of dismay. So let's do something about it. Here are six ways to conserve water at home -- a tip a day, Monday through Saturday. Let there be water:

1) Keep your drinking water cool in a Brita filter or plain old pitcher in the fridge. That way, you won't have to run the faucet for five minutes every time you want a glass of cold water.

2) Start a compost pile. That, you say, is just crazy talk. Composting doesn't save water! Ah, but that's where you're wrong. Where does your organic waste go if you don't compost? Down the sink disposal. What do you have to do when you run the disposal? Run the tap! So start composting, and yes, you can keep a small one even if you live in a city like we do. You'll save water while producing top-notch soil for your window boxes full of gorgeous spring flowers.

3) Get over yourself and finally have that leaky faucet repaired. Even if your faucet is dripping at the rate of only one drop per second, you're wasting about 2,700 gallons per year.

4) Does your shower water take ages to run hot? Use a bucket to collect those first cold gallons, then use that water to wash dishes or water plants.

5) Don't water the sidewalk. If you live in the 'burbs and have a lawn, adjust your sprinkler system so that it hits grass, not concrete. Also, water your lawn in the morning, when temperatures are cooler and there's less wind. This way, less of what you sprinkle will evaporate.

6) Wash fresh fruits and veggies in a pan filled partially with water, rather than running the tap over them. Ditto for dishes—plug and fill the sink to wash them, rather than running the tap the whole time.

And on the seventh day, we'll let you rest.

This article originally appeared in Plenty in April 2007. The story was added to MNN.com in July 2009.

Copyright Environ Press 2007.

Water? I barely know her!
You may think plain ol' water is about as innocent as it gets, but unfortunately it has become a very serious issue. Think twice about your usage.