- Less than 1% of the planet's freshwater is usable for drinking and other safe water uses.
- No new water is available; the same amount of water exists on earth today as has always existed. We can't count on getting new, fresh water from seeding clouds, desalting sea water, or moving and melting icebergs.
- Some communities are using up their stores of water faster than they can be replenished, which is why water conservation is so important.
- We use more water in our bathroom than in any other room in the house. Doing the laundry uses the second largest amount of water in the home.
- A 3.5-gallon toilet consumes 11,000 more gallons of water per year for a family of four than the 1.6-gallon toilets that are now commonly available.
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
- Never use your toilet as a waste basket.
- Turn off the water while shaving or brushing teeth.
- Take short showers instead of tub baths.
- When you take a bath, close the drain before turning on the water and fill the tub only half full. Bathe small children together.
Kitchen and Laundry:
- Keep drinking water in the refrigerator instead of letting the faucet run until the water cools.
- Do not use water to defrost frozen foods, thaw in the refrigerator overnight.
- Use a dishpan for washing and rinsing dishes.
- Scrape, rather than rinse, dishes before loading into the dishwasher.
- Add food wastes to your compost pile instead of using the garbage disposal.
- Operate the dishwasher and clothes washer when completely full.
- Use the appropriate water level or load size selection on the washing machine.
- Repair all leaks. A leaky toilet can waste 200 gallons per day. To detect leaks in the toilet, add food coloring to the tank water. If the colored water appears in the bowl, the toilet is leaking.
- Install 1.6 gallon toilets, or place a plastic container filled with water or gravel in the tank of your conventional toilet. Be sure not to interfere with operation of the toilet's flush mechanisms.
- Consider purchasing high efficiency Energy Star appliances that save water. An Energy Star washing machine can save over 50% in water and energy use.
- Sweep driveways, sidewalks and steps rather than hosing off.
- Wash the car with water from a bucket, or consider using a commercial car wash that recycles water.
- When using a hose, control the flow with an automatic shut-off nozzle.
- Avoid recreational water toys which require a constant stream of water.
- If you have a swimming pool, use a water-saving pool filter.
- Lower pool water level to reduce amount of water splashed out.
- Use a pool cover to reduce evaporation when pool is not being used.
- Plant drought tolerant plants to minimize water needs.
- Use drip irrigation to get water directly to the plants that need it.
- Install timers on hoses to avoid overwatering.
- Use rain barrels to catch rain water for garden watering.
- Repair leaky spigots; patchy leaky hoses.
Want to know how much water your family uses? Take this Family Water Audit , sponsored by a consortium of Arizona businesses.
only uses 1.28 gallons per flush (gpf), so it qualifies as a "high-efficiency toilet" or HET . HETs lower utility bills, reduce strain on septic systems, and are eligible for special rebates in many drought-prone areas.
Want to try something that doesn't use water? How about a composting toilet?
If you have an older toilet you're not going to replace, install a toilet tummy to save water.
Try easy-to-install faucet aerators to save water and money at the sink.
When my house was built 20 years ago, we made a special effort to make it extremely water-efficient. The toilets use 1.6 gallons of water per flush; the water-saving faucets and showerheads help us conserve water, too. It's a good thing, because now that we have teenagers, we just can't seem to convince them to turn off the water when they brush their teeth. And take a short shower? You'd think we were suggesting they wash in ice water!
Our washing machine is a water-saving Neptune from Maytag, though a lot of newer and probably more efficient models have entered the market since we bought this appliance several years ago. We have managed to teach the kids to wash only full loads. They comply, not necessarily to save water, but to spend less time on the task. That's fine with me, as long as the job gets done!
Here's a Great Website - The H20use Tour
It was developed by the California Urban Water Conservation Council to show people how they can really save water. Don't miss it!
EPA has developed a series of programs and materials to help kids understand why water is so important. You can find a listing of them here.