Water Conservation Tips

How to Conserve Water

The average American uses 60 gallons of water daily inside the home. There are four basic ways to save water - economize, repair leaks, install water-saving devices and reuse water. Look around your home and determine which suggestions you can implement.


  • Add a three-inch layer of mulch around outdoor plants to hold in water and reduce evaporation
  • For established lawns, water once per week with no more than one inch of water applied
  • Plant low-water-use grasses and shrubs to cut your lawn watering by 20 to 50%
  • Set your lawn mower to a height of three inches, this keeps the grass roots shaded and lawn holding moisture so you have to mow and water your lawn less frequently
  • Use a rake or a broom to clean up sidewalks, driveways, and gutters, not the hose
  • Use plants that are drought resistant
  • Water lawns and gardens early in the morning so the water doesn't evaporate as quickly. Water your lawn slowly with a steady trickle, but not a mist, which easily evaporates
  • When washing your car, use a bucket for soapy water and use a hose only for rinsing


  • Don't leave water running while brushing your teeth or shaving. Run water when you need it, then turn off the tap until you need more
  • Flush less often and only if necessary, remodel with low consumption toilets (1.5 gallon per flush or less)
  • Install faucet aerators, faucet aerators can cut indoor water consumption by as much as 6%
  • Insulate hot water pipes, especially the first few feet of the line exiting and entering the hot water heater
  • Meter the water
  • Repair leaks in faucets, toilets, etc. Add a few drops of food coloring to water in the toilet tank, if coloring appears in the toilet without flushing, there is a leak. Also listen for the sound of running water or a running pump
  • A toilet flush uses up to seven gallons of water. Install a water-saving toilet in the bathroom, or replace some of the water in the tank with a plastic milk carton filled with water


  • See how light a spray you can wash with, it is also not necessary to shower longer than five minutes. Remodel with a low consumption showerhead (2.5 gallons per minute)
  • Take shorter, lighter showers and turn off the water while soaping


  • Use a vegetable brush for cleaning fruits and vegetables. If you have a hand sprayer, use it sparingly or fill the sink with water
  • Remodel with a low consumption faucet aerator (2 gallons per minute)
  • Install faucet aerators. Faucet aerators can cut indoor water consumption by as much as 6%

Repair Leaks

  • Automatic dishwashers claim the most water in kitchens, about 12 gallons per run. Make sure the washer is fully loaded, as it will take the same 12 gallons to wash a full load or a couple of cups
  • Faucets run at about five gallons a minute, don't let them run when working in the kitchen sink
  • Scrape dishes off and let pots and pans soak overnight instead of rinsing them under the faucet
  • Store a jug of ice water in the refrigerator instead of running the tap until cool
  • When purchasing a new appliance, consider its water efficiency

Washing Machines

  • Many washing machines use 40 or more gallons of water a load whether you have them stuffed full or with only a couple of socks
  • Save up for a full load and make your washer work efficiently
  • Wash only full loads
  • When purchasing a new appliance, consider water efficiency

Facts About Water

  • The 5 Great Lakes bordering the U.S. and Canada contain about 20% of the world's available fresh water
  • Humans can survive a month without food, but only five to seven days without water
  • Only 1% of the earth's water is available for drinking water
  • Public water suppliers process 34 billion gallons of water per day for domestic and public use
  • Water is the most common substance found on earth