Water Conservation Tips
Water efficiency is the smart use of our water resources through water-saving technologies and simple steps we can all take around the house. Using water efficiently will help ensure reliable water supplies today and for future generations. Best of all, everyone can play their part in preserving our nation's water resources. With the simple steps and informational tools below, you'll find that it's easier than ever.
- Shower to save water. A bath typically uses up to 50 gallons of water, whereas a five-minute shower will use only 10-25 gallons depending on the efficiency of your showerhead.
- Keep drinking water in the refrigerator instead of letting the water run until cool. A running faucet can use about two gallons of water per minute.
- Turn off water while you brush your teeth and you can save as much as four gallons of water. If you brush your teeth in the morning and at night, that adds up to saving 200 gallons of water a month. The same is true when you wash your hands or shave.
- Scrape rather than rinse dishes before loading them into the dishwasher. The average dishwasher uses four gallons per cycle. A running faucet uses about two gallons of water per minute.
- Wash only full loads of clothes. Older top-loading machines use 40 gallons of water to wash a full load. Today’s newer standard models use 27 gallons, and more efficient ENERGY STAR washers use 14 gallons of water per wash.
- Verify that your home is leak-free. Read your water meter before and after a two-hour period when no water is being used. If the meter does not read exactly the same, you probably have a leak.
- Check your toilet for leaks by adding food coloring to the tank. If the toilet is leaking, color will appear in the bowl within 15 minutes. (Flush as soon as the test is done, since food coloring may stain the tank.) A leaky toilet can waste 200 gallons of water per day.
- Repair dripping faucets and showers. If your faucet is dripping at the rate of one drop per second, you can waste over 3,000 gallons of water per year.
Of the estimated 29 billion gallons of water used daily by households in the US, nearly 9 billion gallons, or 30 percent, is devoted to outdoor water use. In the hot summer months, or in dry climates, a household's outdoor water use can be as high as 70 percent.
- Never leave a garden hose running. A running hose can use up to 600 gallons of water in just a few hours. Keep a trigger-type nozzle on all outdoor hoses.
- Wash your car with a bucket of soapy water. Use a nozzle to stop the flow of water from the hose between rinsing's.
- Don’t use a hose to spray away debris. Clean your sidewalk or driveway with a broom instead and save up to 80 gallons of water.
- Cover your spa or pool to reduce evaporation. An average size pool left uncovered can lose as much as 1,000 gallons of water per month.
- Nip that drip. Check for leaks in outdoor faucets, pipes and hoses.
- Water your lawn and garden early in the morning or in the evening and never on a windy day. This will avoid water loss to evaporation when the sun is at its highest. Using a sprinkler that sprays large droplets rather than a fine mist will also reduce loss of water due to evaporation.
- Water your lawn and garden, not the driveway. Adjust your sprinkler so water is aimed directly at plants rather than the house, sidewalk, driveway or street.
- Only water when your lawn is thirsty. Overwatering promotes shallow root growth making your lawn less hardy. One simple way to tell if your grass needs water is to step on it. If it springs back, there is ample moisture. If it lies flat, it needs water. Watering your lawn deeply instead of frequent, shallow watering encourages deep root formation which will help your lawn be more resistant to drought and disease.
- Mulch, mulch, mulch! This is one of the most important aspects of keeping the water you apply to your plants in the soil instead of evaporating into the air! Mulching also reduces weed growth and weeds competing with your plants for water. You can use woodchips, pine straw, shredded newspaper or many other types of materials.
- Don’t mow too close. Maintain a lawn height of three to four inches to help protect the roots from heat stress and reduce the loss of moisture to evaporation.
- Plan your landscape. Cluster plants with similar water requirements together. Designate zones for areas requiring frequent watering, occasional watering and no watering. Match plants to yard conditions such as sunny, shady, dry or damp.
Click the links below for some Water saving Tools and Ideas:
- Calculate how much you can save with Water Sense labeled products in the bathroom!
- Fix a Leak Small household leaks can add up to gallons of water lost every day.
It takes a lot of energy to deliver and treat the water you use every day for bathing, shaving, cooking, and cleaning. Homes with electric water heaters, for example, spend one-quarter of their electric bill just to heat water. As an example, letting your faucet run for five minutes uses about as much energy as letting a 60-watt light bulb run for 14 hours.
Ways to Save Energy by Saving Water: YOU CAN'T HAVE ONE WITHOUT THE OTHER
On average, the annual energy used to deliver and treat water for only 10 households could power a refrigerator for more than two years. In some areas of the country, that estimate is very low. Heating water for showering, bathing, shaving, cooking, and cleaning also requires a considerable amount of energy. Homes with electric water heaters, for example, spend one-fourth of their total electric bills.
One of the simplest ways to save both water and energy is to install water-efficient products. WaterSense labeled products not only save water, but can help reduce your energy bills. Installing WaterSense labeled faucet aerators in your bathrooms, for example, costs just a few dollars but could save you enough electricity to dry your hair every day for a year!
You can choose from thousands of models of WaterSense labeled plumbing products. What’s more, you can be sure the products will not only save resources, but will perform well. All WaterSense labeled products are tested and independently certified to ensure they meet EPA’s criteria for both efficiency and performance.
WaterSense labeled homes offer more savings compared to a traditional home. In addition to WaterSense labeled plumbing fixtures, these new homes include ENERGY STAR qualified dishwashers and clothes washers, if those appliances are installed when the home is built. Take a look at another infographic on how WaterSense labeled homes save water and energy.
With pervasive droughts, and high energy prices across the country, nearly everyone is looking for ways to conserve resources and cut costs. The good news is that by using a little "water sense" we can all save water, energy, and money. Start saving both water and energy! Look for WaterSense labeled products and ENERGY STAR® qualified appliances that use water.
DID YOU KNOW?
It also takes water to create energy. Vast amounts of water are used to cool the power plants that generate electricity. In fact, it takes 3,000 to 6,000 gallons of water to power a 60-watt incandescent bulb for 12 hours per day over the course of a year!
- The average family spends $1,100 per year in water costs, but can save $350 from retrofitting with WaterSense labeled fixtures and ENERGY STAR® qualified appliances. A full-sized ENERGY STAR certified clothes washer uses 13 gallons of water per load, compared to the 23 gallons used by a standard machine. That's more than 3,000 gallons of water, per year! Also, when we use water more efficiently, we reduce the need for costly investments in water treatment and delivery systems.
- The WaterSense label will help you identify high-efficiency products, homes, and programs.These water-efficient options provide the same performance and quality you've come to expect, but with the added benefit of water savings. WaterSense labeled products are backed by independent third-party certification and meet EPA's specifications for water efficiency and performance. So, when you use WaterSense labeled products in your home or business, you can be confident you'll be saving water without sacrifice.