With rainfall totals below normal across the state, area residents are doing their part to conserve water. If you ask Wilmington resident David Hoolahan about his front yard, he'll tell you taking care of it is one of his favorite hobbies. "No matter how much I water, things just didn't survive or thrive. Things that in prior years did perfectly fine," Hoolahan said. The lack of rain has forced Hoolahan to yank out some of his plants. Even though he waters his lawn as much as he can, he says nothing beats the real thing. "I just can't duplicate that with a hose," Hoolahan said. Since the beginning of the year, Wilmington is eighteen inches below normal rainfall totals. City data says the average Wilmington resident uses 138 gallons of water every day. Residents say the severe drought has forced them to change their watering ways. "One thing I did was to turn off my rain bird watering system, my underground watering system, and I've switched to using the pinholes in the bottom of plastic milk jugs," Wilmington Resident Julie Larick said. While residents are trying to conserve water outside, others are applying the same philosophy inside. For example, using appliances when fewer people are making demands on the water supply. "We'll run the dishwasher and the washing machine at night just to kind of assist a little bit further," Wilmington resident Lee Blackman said. According to city data, washing machines use nearly 22 percent of the city's water supply. Showers come in next at more than sixteen percent. To conserve water here are some tips: Hand wash your dishes, check for leaky faucets and water your plants only once a day. Doing those things will not only save water, but also help you save your money from going down the drain on your next water bill. While the city of Wilmington has not made it mandatory to conserve water, officials are urging people to cut back where they can.
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