How to Use Less Water & Save Money

Take action to conserve water resources by reducing water waste and use inside and outside the home.

In the course of a year, leaky faucets and toilets in the home waste approximately 10,000 gallons per year, or enough water to fill a swimming pool. That adds up to significant water waste and greater utility costs. As a first step to cutting water waste, fix leaks that waste water. Then take action to conserve water resources by reducing water use inside and outside the home.

 Ways to reduce interior water use

The bathroom accounts for the majority of home water use, and a few bathroom changes can greatly cut interior water use. Overhaul your bathroom with the following measures to lower water use immediately:

  • Use a low-flow shower-head
  • Install a faucet aerator to reduce sink water use
  • Shorten shower time
  • Install a high-efficiency flush toilet or dual flush toilet
  • Fix any bathroom leaks, such as faucet, toilet or water hose leaks
  • Don't leave water running while you brush your teeth
  • Collect water that runs while the faucet or shower is heating, then use this to water plants

In the kitchen, avoid running water while washing dishes by hand. Run your dishwasher only when it is full and use the dishwasher over manual washing when possible. The dishwasher is actually a greener choice than hand washing the dishes. Running both the washing machine and the dishwasher only when full can save up to 1,000 gallons of water per month.

Ways to reduce exterior water use

Garden, home cleaning and exterior water use can add up. Creative thinking and inexpensive modifications can reduce much of your outside water use. Easy changes that will have a big impact include:

  • Water the garden in the morning or evening, when temperatures are cooler and water used is less likely to evaporate. You'll need to water plants less frequently when you make this change
  • Mulch around garden plants and shrubs to help roots retain moisture for longer.
  • Plant new plants in the fall when they're more likely to receive natural rainfall and won't be stressed out by summer heat.
  • Plant local shrubs and flowers that are adapted to grow in your area's natural conditions and may be more drought tolerant.
  • Save water used to rinse produce, then water plants with this.

Tiny actions like these add up to conserve water resources and reduce expensive water bills. While the natural cycle of rainfall does make it seem as though water is a renewable resource, changes to the polar ice caps are poised to reduce water resources for future generations. Developing water conservation habits now helps stretch water resources and prevent water insecurity.

Adopt one to two changes a week to slowly and steadily decrease your use of water. These are just a sampling of low-cost, low-effort ways to conserve water. As you conserve water, you'll also notice reduced utility bills since it costs energy to heat water. After you work through these strategies, identify new ways to save water that make sense for your lifestyle.
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