Water conservation: It all starts with you
Water conservation, using water efficiently and avoiding waste, is essential
to ensure that we have adequate water today and into the future. Water is a
finite resource and the supplies on Earth today are no more than what was here
at the beginning of the planet. It is up to all of us to use the water we have
wisely, and it is as simple as each of us making small changes. Make
conserving water a daily part of your life. And remember when you save water,
you save energy and money!
Bathroom: What you can do behind closed doors
Over half the water use inside a home takes place in the bathroom.
- Turn off the water while shaving or brushing teeth.
(Savings: up to 4 gallons a minute, or up to 200 gallons a week for a family of four!)
- Take short showers instead of tub baths; showers use less water.
(If you keep your showers to under 5 minutes you’ll save up to 1,000
gallons a month.)
- If you do take a bath, be sure to plug the drain right away and adjust the temperature as you fill the tub.
- Don’t use your toilet as a wastebasket. Use a leak-free, high efficiency toilet.
(Toilets are by far the main source of water use in the home: nearly 30 percent of residential indoor water consumption.)
- When washing your hands, turn off the water while you lather.
Kitchen: Cook up some real water savings
- Wash only full loads of dishes, and select the appropriate water level
or load size option on the dishwasher.
- Do not use water to defrost frozen foods; thaw foods in the refrigerator
- Scrape, rather than rinse dishes before loading them into the dishwasher.
- Compost food waste instead of using the garbage disposal or throwing it in the trash.
- Keep drinking water in the refrigerator instead of letting
the faucet run until the water is cool
Laundry: Rinse out some real money savings
- Wash only full loads of laundry or use the appropriate water level or load size selection on the washing machine.
- Consider purchasing a high efficiency washing machine, which can save over
50 percent in laundry water and energy use.
Fix leaks: Always and everywhere
- You can significantly reduce
water use by simply repairing leaks in fixtures (faucets and showerheads),
pipes, and toilets. A leaky faucet wastes gallons of water in a short period of
time. A leaky toilet can waste 200 gallons per day. That would be like flushing
your toilet more than 50 times for no reason!
Of the estimated 29 billion gallons of water used daily by households in the
United States, nearly 9 billion gallons (30 percent) is used outdoors. In
the hot summer months, or in dry climates, a household's outdoor water use can
be as high as 70 percent.
- Native and drought tolerant plants can make a beautiful
alternative to unused turf areas in your yard.
WSU Cooperative Extension
has many resources to assist home gardeners with landscaping
using native plants.
- Purchase an inexpensive hose timer to avoid over-watering.
Soaker hoses are also a great option for avoiding evaporation.
Collecting rainwater to use on your landscape can help you
save water outdoors.
- Many local water providers offer rebates on efficient
- Use a broom or electric blower to clean driveways and
sidewalks, rather than hosing them off.
- When washing your car, use an adjustable nozzle or sprayer
and turn off the water stream while soaping your vehicle.
Can’t get enough water saving ideas?
100+ Ways to Conserve -
Water Use it Wisely has nearly 200 water-saving tips, for a variety of settings
(indoor, outdoor, office etc.)
How to Save Water - Grace Communications Foundation has tips for saving water, including shopping smarter and food
Saving Water Partnership
- Seattle and participating water utilities; includes
information for both residential and business water use.
Water Smart, not Water Short - 5 ways to secure water for Washington’s future.
Ecology publication #09-11-008
Note: Most water utilities have
conservation programs, including rebates on water-efficient appliances. Check
your local utility website.
Copyright © Washington State Department of Ecology. See http://www.ecy.wa.gov/copyright.htm