Conservation Tips

Water Used for Common Activities

  • Brushing Teeth: 3 gallons per day
  • Shower: 40 gallons/10 minutes
  • Bath: 20 gallons
  • Toilet: 28 gallons/day/person
  • Clothes washer: 45 gallons/load
  • Cooking: 5 gallons/day
  • Dishwasher: 15 gallons/load
  • Landscape: 350 gallons/day
  • Hosing Driveway: 150 gallons
  • Car Washing: 150 gallons

Indoor Conservation Tips:

Bathroom Conservation Tips:

  • Install water saving shower heads ...saves 500 to 800 gallons a month.
  • Take shorter showers...even a one or two-minute reduction can save up to 700 gallons a month.
  • Capture tap or shower water. While you wait for hot water, catch the flow in a container to use later on house plants or in the garden...saves 400 to 600 gallons a month.
  • Replace your old water guzzling toilet (3.5 to 7 gallons per flush, gpf) with a new ultra-low flush toilet (1.6 gpf)...saves over 700 gallons a month.
  • Put a water displacement bag or plastic bottle in each toilet tank.
  • Turn off the water while shaving, brushing your teeth, and lathering in the shower.
  • Don't use the toilet as an ashtray or wastebasket...saves up to 400 gallons a month.
  • Take baths instead of showers. A partially filled tub uses less water than all but the most brief shower...saves 15 to 20 gallons each time.
  • Turn off the water while shaving...saves 3 gallons a day per shaver.

Kitchen Conservation Tips:

  • If you wash dishes by hand - and during a drought that's the best way - don't leave the water running for rinsing. If you have two sinks, fill one with rinse water. Otherwise, use a spray device or short blasts from the faucet...saves 20 to 500 gallons a month.
  • Don't defrost frozen food with running water. Place frozen items in the refrigerator overnight or defrost in the microwave...saves 50 to 150 gallons a month.
  • Don't let the faucet run while you clean vegetables. Rinse them in a filled sink or pan...saves 150 to 250 gallons a month.
  • Use the garbage disposal less and the garbage can more...saves 50 to 150 gallons a month.

Other Indoor Conservation Tips:

  • Fix all leaky toilets, faucets and pipes.
  • Fix leaky faucets and plumbing joints...saves about 20 gallons a day for each leak stopped
  • Run only full loads in the washing machine and dishwasher...saves 300 to 800 gallons a month.
  • Run only full loads in dishwasher and washing machine.
  • Keep a bottle of drinking water in the refrigerator. This beats the wasteful habit of running tap water to cool it for drinking...saves 200 to 300 gallons a month.
  • Capture tap water. While you wait for hot water to come through the pipes, catch the flow in a watering can and use later on houseplants or your garden. Saves 200 to 300 gallons a month.
  • If you have a fish tank, use the dirty water from the tank on your house plants. It's rich in nitrogen and phosphorus, which gives you a good fertilizer.

Outdoor Conservation Tips:

Lawn and Garden

  • Water your lawn only when it needs it. Step on your grass...if it springs back when you lift your foot, it doesn't need water. So set your sprinklers for less frequent watering...saves 750 to 1500 gallons a month. Better yet, in times of drought, water with a hose.
  • Water your lawn no more than once a week and operate automatic sprinklers manually.*
  • Water during the cool parts of the day. Early morning is better than evenings since it will help prevent fungus and mildew growth...saves 300 gallons a month.
  • Don't water on windy days when evaporation is high...this can waste up to 300 gallons in one watering.
  • Cut down watering schedules during the cool, rainy season...adjust or deactivate your automatic irrigation timer...saves up to 300 gallons each time.
  • Set your lawn mower blades (or ask your gardener) one notch higher...longer grass means less evaporation...saves 500 to 1500 gallons a month.
  • If your children play in the sprinklers during hot weather...make sure it's at the time your lawn needed watering anyway.
  • Don't water the sidewalks, driveway, street, or the side of your house. Adjust sprinklers so the water lands on your lawn or garden - where it belongs...saves 500 gallons a month.
  • Replace high-water using trees, shrubs, and plants (especially lawns) with less thirsty ones. But remember, even drought-resistant plantings take extra water to get them established in the garden. Save up to 750 to 1500 gallons per month.
  • Put a layer of mulch around trees and plants. Shredded leaves/bark, peat moss or gravel slows down evaporation...saves 750 to 1500 gallons a month.

Washing Your Car:

  • Don't run the hose while washing your car...use a bucket of water and a quick hose rinse at the end...saves 150 gallons each time. That's a significant amount of water if you wash your cars frequently.
  • Take your car to a car wash if you can...generally, most car washes filter and recycle a high percentage of the wash/rinse water which is very resource efficient.
  • Other Outdoor Conservation Tips:
  • Use a broom instead of a hose to clean driveways, patios and sidewalks...saves 150 gallons or more each time. At once a week, that's more than 600 gallons a month.
  • If you have a pool, use a cover to cut down on evaporation...it will also keep the pool cleaner...saves 1000 gallons a month.
  • If your home has an evaporative cooler, direct the water drain line to a garden area or the base of a tree or shrub.