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Ways to Reduce Water Use

After decades of little or no effort globally to protect and conserve Earth’s most precious, finite resource, it’s more critical than ever that we do everything in our power to reduce water use to sustain life as we know it to survive and most importantly, not waste water– both indoors and out.

Even though nearly 70% of the Earth is covered with water, only 2.5% of it is fresh, however of that 2.5% only 1% of it is easily accessible since the rest of it is locked up in glaciers and polar ice caps. 

The list of ways we can all conserve water indoors is simple and these practices can save homeowners a substantial amount of money on their water bills:

  • Wash only full loads of laundry & dishes (Saves up to 50 gallons/week)
  • Fix household leaks immediately (Saves up to 20 gallons/day)
  • Spend only 5 minutes in the shower (Saves up to 8 gallons/per shower)
  • Turn off water while brushing your teeth (Save up to 2.5 gallons/minute)

Replacing older water faucets and aerators with high-performing, efficient WaterSense certified models can save an average family 700 gallons of water a year. EPA certified WaterSense faucets can reduce a sink’s flow by 30% or more, since they use a maximum of 1.5 gallons per minute, as opposed to the standard flow of 2.2 gallons per minute from older, inefficient faucets.

About 30% of residential water use is devoted to outdoor uses.  Over half of it is used for landscape irrigation.  Residents also use water outdoors for washing automobiles, maintaining swimming pools and cleaning driveways and sidewalks.

It’s estimated that more than 50% of irrigation water use goes to waste due to evaporation, runoff, or over-watering.  But the following simple practices can have a big impact on reducing outdoor water waste and saving money:

  • Landscape with native plants that adapt to your climate to reduce outdoor water use by 20 to 50%.
  • Don’t water lawns or plants automatically when not needed, and don’t over-saturate lawns.  Test your lawn by stepping on it, and if it springs back it doesn’t need water.
  • Maintain your irrigation system to make sure it’s working efficiently, distributing evenly over the lawn, and not over-spraying onto paved areas.
  • Use weather-based irrigation scheduling to reduce outdoor water use up to 15%.  Even better, a weather-based smart irrigation controller schedules watering only when plants and landscape need it– based on weather and soil moisture content– with just the right amount of water.

Indoor and outdoor water saving tips are simple, and easy to practice in our daily lives.  But the collective impact they can make on protecting our planet’s dwindling water resources to sustain life as we know it for future generations is tremendous.