Tips for Consumers to Save Water and Money
With drought conditions continuing to persist, and water costs rising throughout much of Texas, consumers are looking for ways to save both water and money.
Taking advantage of a few simple tips can help you save thousands of gallons of water, and hundreds of dollars, each year.
- Use Less Water - One easy step is to take shorter showers. With a new water-efficient showerhead, a five-minute shower uses less water than a bath. Also, instead of letting the water run while shaving or brushing your teeth, run it just to wet and rinse your razor or toothbrush. Turning off the tap can save up to 2,400 gallons of water a year.
- Check Faucets and Toilets for Leaks - A faucet leaking at a rate of one drop per second can waste up to 3,000 gallons of water per year, and a leaky toilet can waste about 73,000 gallons per year. Fixing hot-water leaks can save up to $35 per year in utility bills.
- Wash Full Loads of Laundry - Washing full loads as opposed to partial loads of laundry can save an average household more than 3,400 gallons of water each year. Need a new clothes washer? Look for an ENERGY STAR qualified model, which typically uses about 50 percent less water and 25 percent less energy per load.
- Invest in a New, Water-Efficient Toilet - Toilets are the main source of water use in the home, accounting for approximately 30 percent of indoor water use. Replacing older toilets with water-efficient ones can save 4,000 gallons of water and more than $90 per year. If 25 percent of all Texas households reduced their water consumption by replacing one older toilet with a 1.6-gallon-per-flush toilet, it would reduce water consumption throughout Texas by more than 875 million gallons annually.
- Install Water-Efficient Showerheads and Faucet Aerators - Showering is one of the leading ways we use water in the home, accounting for nearly 17 percent of residential indoor water use—for the average family, that adds up to nearly 40 gallons per day. By installing a water efficient showerhead, your family can save 2,900 gallons of water per year. In addition, replacing old, inefficient faucets and aerators can save the average family 700 gallons of water per year, equal to the amount of water needed to take 40 showers. Since these water savings will reduce demands on water heaters, they will also save energy.
- Use Native Plants - Plants that are native to Texas aren’t only beautiful; they typically require less water, pesticides, fertilizers, and maintenancesaving you time and money.
- Water Wisely - Water your yard thoroughly, but only as needed—usually no more than one inch, once a week. Use drip irrigation where possible and water early in the morning to minimize evaporation. Make certain to always comply with your water systems water-use restrictions.
- Collect and Use Rainwater - Lawn and garden watering makes up 30 to 50 percent of total household water use during the summer. Collecting rainwater for landscape use not only is great for the plants, but can save you water and money. By collecting rainwater from just 10 percent of the residential roof area in Texas, we could conserve over 30 billion gallons of water annually. Download Rainwater Harvesting, a Take Care of Texas manual.