Water Conservation & Education

Public Education Water Conservation

Water is a precious and finite resource humans and communities must have to survive. When we turn on the tap, we naturally expect water will flow freely in abundant supplies. However, this behavior leads to unnecessary waste that can and should be prevented. By taking our water supplies for granted, we are setting the stage for a tragedy of the commons. We are limiting our capacity to grow and endangering the sustainability of our society for generations to come. What can you do to make a difference? How can you help prevent wasteful use of a precious and limited resource?

Simple Tips

We've included some excellent tips provided by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) that each of us can do around our house:
  1. Watch your water meter. To determine if you have leaks, take a meter reading and don't use water in your home for two hours. If the reading has changed during that time, you may have a leak. Silent toilet leaks can also be found by putting a few drops of food coloring into the tank and checking if color appears in the bowl before you flush. Don't forget to check irrigation systems and spigots, too.
  2. Avoid watering the sidewalk. As much as 50% of water used outside is lost due to wind, evaporation, and runoff due to over watering. Make sure sprinklers only spray on plants.
  3. Turn off the tap. When you are flossing, brushing your teeth, or shaving, turn off the tap. Leaving the faucet on could be wasting up to eight gallons of water.
  4. End wasted water in the kitchen. Scrape dishes with a rubber spatula instead of rinsing and run the dishwasher only for full loads.
  5. Replace fixtures with WaterSense. When it comes time to replace an old plumbing fixture, look for a WaterSense label to save water and protect the environment. Launched in 2006, WaterSense is a partnership program sponsored by the EPA that seeks to protect the future of our nation's water supply by offering people a simple way to use less water with water efficient products, new homes, and services. More than 2,300 partners have produced and promoted 3,700 different models of WaterSense labeled toilets, faucets, shower heads, flushing urinals, and new homes. Nearly 53 million products have earned the WaterSense label to date.

Leaks Waste More than Water

These are simple tips that every homeowner can employ around their house to protect our water sources, eliminate careless water-usage habits, and save money. According to EPA Administrator Lisa P. Jackson, "When households have a leak, it's not just a waste of water, it's a waste of money. But by fixing leaky pipes, buying WaterSense products and taking other simple steps, families can save on their water bills and conserve clean water for future generations to enjoy."
  1. Additional Information
  2. Indoor Water Savings Tips
  3. Outdoor Water Savings Tips
  4. Water's Fury

Additional Information to Consider

  • Across the country, household leaks waste more than 1 trillion gallons of water per year - enough to supply the water needs of Chicago, Miami, and Los Angeles combined. Easily corrected household leaks can increase homeowners' water bills by 12%.
  • Homeowners' water bills provide an easy and quick leak-checking measure; if wintertime water use for a family of four exceeds 12,000 gallons per month, their home may have a leak. Fixture replacement parts often pay for themselves quickly and can be installed by enterprising do-it-yourself individuals, professional plumbers, or EPA's WaterSense irrigation partners.