As a society, we have become more and more environmentally conscious and better informed about the effect our lifestyles can have on the world around us. At the same time, the demand for our most valuable natural resource—drinking water—continues to grow while local supplies can be threatened by drought conditions.
The pages we’ve listed in the navigation to your left will help you learn more about key water conservation issues.
Even though water covers so much of the earth’s surface, less than one percent is available for human consumption, and yet, according to the most up-to-date U.S. Geological Survey report, the United States uses 322 billion gallons a day.
We share in the benefits of some of the safest drinking water in the world, and it is incumbent on us all to protect this valuable natural resource for future generations. By making simple but thoughtful changes in our daily routines, we can feel confident that we are doing our part. Below are some tips to help you conserve water.
The following tips are directly from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
For every room in the house with plumbing:
- Repair leaky faucets, indoors and out.
- Consider replacing old equipment (like toilets, dishwashers and laundry machines).
- In the kitchen:
- When cooking, peel and clean vegetables in a large bowl of water instead of under running water.
- Fill your sink or basin when washing and rinsing dishes.
- Only run the dishwasher when it's full.
- When buying a dishwasher, select one with a "light-wash" option.
- Only use the garbage disposal when necessary (composting is a great alternative).
- Install faucet aerators.
- In the bathroom:
- Take short showers instead of baths.
- Turn off the water to brush teeth, shave and soap up in the shower. Fill the sink to shave.
- Repair leaky toilets. Add 12 drops of food coloring into the tank, and if color appears in the bowl one hour later, your toilet is leaking.
- Install a toilet dam, faucet aerators and low-flow showerheads.
- Run full loads of laundry.
- When purchasing a new washing machine, buy a water saving model that can be adjusted to the load size.
The following tips are directly from EPA
- Install a drip-irrigation water system for valuable plants.
- Use drought-tolerant plants and grasses for landscaping and reduce grass-covered areas.
- Cut your grass at least three inches high to shade the roots, making it more drought tolerant; keep your mower sharp for the healthiest grass.
- Try to water only in the evening or very early morning to minimize evaporation.
- If you use porous pavement (gravel is a good example) instead of asphalt for driveways and walkways, the rain can recharge groundwater supplies instead of running off and contributing to erosion.
- Use a broom instead of a hose to clean off your driveway or sidewalk.
- Wash your car less often or wash it at a car wash where they clean and recycle the water. If you do wash your car at home, use a bucket of soapy water rather than running the hose. Keep a spring-loaded nozzle on the hose.
Xeriscape™ has been an increasing trend in landscape design over the last several years. It is when you combine water conservation practices with creative landscape design, you can create an attractive haven that's relatively hassle-free.
A properly designed and operated irrigation system can reduce water because grouping plants according to their watering needs saves a significant amount of water. By using shade, rethinking traditional grass lawns, taking advantage of natural runoff, planting in low irrigation areas and using mulch, your landscape can be transformed into a beautiful design that conserves water. For more information on Xeriscape, contact your local water provider, landscape architect or garden shops.
is a voluntary public-private partnership program sponsored by EPA. The program makes it easy to find and select water-efficient products for your home, yard and business with a label backed by independent testing and certification.