It may surprise you to learn that in North America only about 1% of domestic water is used for cooking and drinking. The rest of our beautifully treated water is used for bathing, flushing toilets, washing clothes, watering lawns and gardens and many other uses.
There are many ways you can reduce your water consumption with minimal effort. It may be as simple as turning the tap off while brushing your teeth or reducing the length of your showers. What else can you do?
water conservation tips
- Make sure you’re running full (but not crammed) loads in the washing machine. A full load uses less water than two half loads.
- Reducing your shower by two minutes can save 460 litres of water in one month.
- When washing dishes in the sink, don’t let the water run down the drain. Fill one basin with water for washing and another for rinsing.
- Water used in the kitchen for rinsing and cooking can be used again to water house plants.
- Regularly check your home for leaks. Undetected leaks in your home can add up to a lot of household water waste every year.
- Use food colouring to test for a leaking toilet. Drop a teaspoon of food colouring into your toilet tank. If the colour appears in the bowl after 15 minutes, you’ve got a leak.
- Keep a jug of drinking water in the refrigerator. This puts a stop to the wasteful practice of running tap water to cool it for drinking.
- Talk to a local nursery or garden supplies centre about drought tolerant plants.
- Let your lawn go gold. Your lawn only needs one inch of water a week to stay green.
- Learn how to harvest rainwater for your plants with cisterns, rain barrels, or landscaping.
- Install a timer on your sprinkler or soaker hose.
- Check for leaks on your garden hose.
- Let your car get dusty. Wash windscreens, windows and headlights for safety, using a bucket.
- Install a rain sensor on all irrigation systems to prevent irrigating in the rain.
- Clean the driveway with a broom instead of a hose.
- Use an automatic shut-off nozzle on your hose to wash your car or while watering plants (only during water conservation regulations Stages 1 to 3)
- Add mulch around plants and clover in the lawn.
- Follow water conservation regulations and keep up-to-date on time and day changes.
How much water do you use? How do you compare?
How can you conserve?
Home water conservation is easy once you understand how and where you can use less. The quick and easy Water Calculator shows you which water uses in your home are efficient and which are not and offers simple conservation tips that save water and energy.