How much do you know about our most precious resource?
It may seem hard to believe, but the average person uses 100 gallons of water each day—that’s enough to fill 1,600 drinking glasses. This water use can easily be cut by as much as 30 percent if American households took a few simple steps to use water more efficiently.
About 75 percent of the earth’s surface is covered by water, but less than 1 percent of this is available for people to use. The rest is salt water, locked in inaccessible locations underground, or is frozen in polar ice caps and glaciers.
The average bathroom faucet flows at a rate of 2 gallons per minute; by simply turning the tap off, you can save more than 100 gallons of water per person each month.
Taking a five minute shower uses 10 to 25 gallons of water, while a full tub requires about 70 gallons. If you take a bath, stopper the drain immediately and adjust the temperature as you fill the tub.
A leaky toilet can waste about 200 gallons of water every day! To tell if your toilet is leaking, place a drop of food coloring in the tank; if the color shows in the bowl without flushing, you have a leak.
If your toilet is from 1992 or earlier, you probably have an inefficient model that uses between 3.5 to 7 gallons per flush. New high-efficiency models use less than 1.3 gallons per flush—that’s 60 to 80 percent less water than their less efficient counterparts.
Water-efficient irrigation systems help save water, potentially more than 11 billion gallons per year across the United States. This is equal to the amount of water used by 3,200 garden hoses flowing constantly for one year!
Inefficient or poorly maintained irrigation systems can waste water and money each month. Look for sprinklers that produce droplets—not mist. Systems with rain shutoff devices and moisture sensors reduce excess watering and runoff.
To waste the least amount of water in the kitchen, operate your automatic dishwasher only when it’s fully loaded. Filling the sink or a bowl instead of running water can save an average of 25 gallons.
High-efficiency washing machines use less than 27 gallons of water per load, compared to traditional models that use an average of 41 gallons. To achieve even greater savings, adjust water levels in the washing machine to match the size of the load.
Leaky faucets that drip at the rate of one drip per second can waste up to 3,000 gallons of water each year. If you’re unsure if you have a leak, read your water meter before and after a two-hour period when no water is being used. If the meter does not read exactly the same, you probably have a leak.
Why should we conserve water?
a. Water is a natural resource that we all share.
b. Wasting water wastes energy.
c. Conservation will save money and make clean water supplies last longer.
Replace toilets with Ultra Low Flush Models, or retrofit with low flow flappers. Retrofit faucets with aerators, or consider alternative faucet types such as self-closing or automatic sensor controlled faucets. Many county and city water utilities offer rebates.
Replace showerheads with low flow models.
Check for leaks! Do dye tablet or food coloring tests in toilets to check for hidden leaks. Check for dripping faucets indoors and out.