Conserving Water Indoors and Outdoors

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Inside Your Home

In the Kitchenkitchen sink

  • Keep a container of water in the refrigerator to avoid running water for a cold drink.
  • Avoid running water to thaw food.
  • Run the dishwasher only when you have a full load.
  • If washing dishes by hand, do not let water run continuously for rinsing.
  • Use a bowl of water to clean and prepare vegetables, rather than letting the faucet run.
  • Use your garbage disposal less often and compost instead.
  • Repair dripping faucets.


  • Automatic dishwashers use about 15 gallons of water per load.

In the LaundryWasher

  • When doing laundry, use the right water level to match the size of the load. Ideally, wash only full loads.
  • Check hose connections for leaks.


  • Each load of laundry normally requires 50 gallons or more of water.



In the BathroomToilet

  • Replace the parts inside your toilet tanks every few years. Internal toilet parts, like tires on a car, wear out over time and need to be replaced.
  • Test for toilet leaks.
  • Install water saving low-flow showerheads.
  • Do not use the toilet to dispose of tissues or other trash.
  • When replacing fixtures, install water saving models.
  • Consider showering since a bathtub filled half full holds about 50 gallons of water.
  • Limit the length of showers to two or three minutes.
  • Avoid letting the water run while shaving, brushing your teeth, and washing your face.
  • Turn faucets off tightly after use.


  • Leaking toilets can send over 1,000 gallons of water down the drain in a single day.
  • Every flush uses 3-7 gallons of water.
  • An unrestricted showerhead runs at 5 to 10 gallons a minute.

Outside Your Home

Save Water on the Lawnlawn sprinkler

  • Avoid excessive watering.
  • Measure the amount of time it takes your sprinkler to deliver one (1) inch of water, and do not exceed the total time for the week.
  • Use short cycles (5 minutes) at least an hour apart to reduce runoff.
  • Reduce evaporation by watering in the evening or early in the morning.
  • Set sprinklers carefully to avoid watering paved areas.
  • Avoid sprinklers that spray a fine mist, which increases evaporation.
  • Aerate the soil in the spring and fall to reduce runoff.
  • Keep the grass 2-3" long to enhance root development with minimal watering.


  • Most lawns need only an inch of water per week to stay healthy.

Landscape Wiselylandscape with sprinkler

  • Minimize grassy areas, which require the most water.
  • Plant water efficient grasses, plants, trees, and shrubs.
  • Use mulch to help the soil retain moisture and to reduce the growth of weeds.
  • Use drip irrigation to water plants, trees, and shrubs.
  • Plant in the spring or fall, when watering requirements are lower.


Other Outdoor Tipshose with water

  • Remove the garden hose, shut off, and drain the water lines to outside spigots in the winter. This prevents freezing temperatures from causing expensive leaks.
  • If you have an automatic sprinkler system, inspect it regularly for leaks and malfunctioning parts.
  • Avoid using the hose to clean areas that could be swept with a broom.
  • When washing vehicles, run the water only to wet and rinse. Use a container to hold the water used for washing.
  • Check pipes, hoses, valves, and faucets for leaks.

More Water-Saving Ideas