Water Conservation: Begin With You | Water Resources Program | Washington State Department of Ecology

Posted September 14, 2017

Ecology home & gt; Water Resources & gt; Water conservation: Start with you

Conserving water, ie its efficient use and avoiding waste, is essential to ensure that we have adequate water today and in the future. Water is a finite resource and supply on Earth is the same as at the beginning of the planet. It is up to us to use the water we have wisely and it is as simple as each of us making small changes. Make conservation of water a part of your daily life. Remember, when you save water, you also save energy and money! In the bathroom: What you can do behind the closed door

More than half of the water use occurs in the bathroom

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  • Turn off the key while shaving or brushing your teeth. (Savings: about 4 gallons per minute or up to 200 gallons per week for a family of four!)
  • Take short baths in the shower instead of using the tub; the showerhead uses less water. (If you use the watering can for less than 5 minutes you could save up to 1,000 gallons of water per month.)
  • If you take a bath in the tub, make sure to put the cap immediately and adjust the water temperature as you fill the tub.
  • Do not use the toilet as a wastebasket. Use a leak-proof, high-efficiency toilet. (Excuses are by far the main source of household water use - about 30 percent of indoor residential water consumption.)
  • When you wash your hands, turn off the key while you soak.

In the kitchen: You can save real water!

  • Wash only full loads of clothing or use appropriate water levels or selection of appropriate load size in the washer.
  • Consider purchasing a high efficiency washing machine could save more than 50 percent on water and energy use.

Repair Leaks: Always and Everywhere

  • You can significantly reduce water use by simply repairing leaks from bathroom and kitchen appliances (faucets and showers), pipes and fittings. A leak in a faucet wastes gallons in a short period. An escape from a toilet can waste 200 gallons per day!


Of the estimated 29 billion gallons of water used daily in the homes of the United States, about 9 billion gallons (30 percent) is used outdoors. In the hot summer months, or in dry climates, outdoor water use can be as high as 70 percent.

Note: Most utility companies have resource conservation programs, including reimbursements for water-efficient appliances. Go to the utility company website for your location.