How to Save Water at Home For Adults & Children
A Green-Living Guide to Water Conservation at Home
- 10% of water is used for drinking and preparing meals;
- 25% is used for everyday cleaning, including doing laundry;
- 30% is used to flush the toilet;
- 35% is used to bathe.
Installing a water softener in your home is one way to reduce the amount of hard water running through your pipes and prevent any further damage that may be caused by mineral build-up. Softening your water can also reduce the amount of energy that your water heater takes by 24%.
Let’s take a look at other ways you and your family can practice water conservation in your home and the benefits that come with doing so.
What Is Water Conservation?
- Surface Water: Surface water is water collected from a river, stream, lake, reservoir, or ocean. This water source is continuously being replenished by an intricate process involving precipitation and evaporation.
- Groundwater: Groundwater is water that is harvested below the Earth’s surface by drilling into wells. This is the more popular water source of the two.
The Importance of Water Conservation
Hopefully, the above regulations help to stress the importance of water conservation by educating the public on current, proposed, and repealed regulations, and pollution prevention. However, access to this information alone may not be enough to get the public to understand why they should care to limit their water consumption.
Benefits of water conservation include:
- The prevention of conflicts between consumers who share a common water source;
- Contribution to the protection of environmental flows and overall health of aquatic ecosystems;
- Availability of water resources for further growth and development;
- The ability to avoid or defer the need to expand the capacity of water and wastewater infrastructure;
- And many more.
The lack of access to this abundant water source by a majority of the Canadian population makes water conservation is that much more important.
Why Conserve Water at Home?
General Tips for Reducing Household Water Waste
- Designate a water bottle or drinking glass for the day;
- Perform regular maintenance on the water heater, furnace, toilets, washing machine, dishwasher, and refrigerator — checking for leaks and other immediate repairs;
- Recycle water where you can (i.e. use basins and buckets to collect reusable water);
- Regularly check the water meter;
- Take shorter showers and/or baths;
- Turn off the water for shorter tasks like shaving, washing vegetables, or brushing your teeth;
- Use energy-efficient appliances to reduce water usage;
- Insulate your water pipes;
- Water your lawn as-needed and early in the day (preferably before it gets too hot).
Getting Kids Involved
- Buy them a reusable water bottle;
- Encourage them to tightly turn off faucets and only flush the toilet for solid waste;
- Have them reuse their towels to cut back on laundry;
- Lead by example;
- Make learning into a game;
- Show them how their actions are making a positive difference;
- Show them other children implementing conservation practices;
- Rather than playing in the hose or sprinkler take them to a lake, beach, or other natural body of water.
Cutting Back on Indoor Water Consumption
- 35% for showering;
- 30% for flushing;
- 20% for laundry;
- 10% in the kitchen and for drinking;
- 5% for cleaning.
Water Conservation in the Bathroom
- Installing high-efficiency toilets;
- Refraining from using the toilet as a wastebasket;
- Taking shorter showers;
- Turning off the water while brushing your teeth and shaving;
- Using faucet aerators;
- Utilizing low-flow showerheads.
Water Conservation in the Kitchen
- Defrost food in the refrigerator instead of in the sink;
- Limit the amount of water used for cooking food;
- Make sure the dishwasher is fully loaded before starting it;
- Refrain from throwing away fallen ice cubes and instead reusing them to water houseplants or to hydrate your pets;
- Refrigerate your drinking water to cool it down in place of ice cubes;
- Scrape, rather than rinse the dishes;
- Soak stubborn pots.
Water Conservation in the Utility/Laundry Room
- Going to a laundromat and using their machines that are typically much larger;
- Insulating and lowering the temperature of your hot water tank;
- Reusing towels;
- Running full loads of laundry;
- Skipping the extra rinse cycle;
- Upgrading to an energy-efficient washer, dryer, and water heater;
- Using a water softener — being sure to only buy a high-efficiency water softener that only softens the water that needs it, clearly states its grain capacity, and is the right size;
- Washing your clothes in cold water;
- Wearing clothes more than once.
Cutting Back on Outdoor Water Consumption
It is important to note that outdoor water consumption is at a high during the hot summer months — as well as areas that tend to be drier than others. Listed below are ways to conserve water outdoors.
Water Conservation in the Yard
- Don’t use water to clean the driveways, steps, deck;
- Install windbreaks;
- Let the grass grow longer;
- Mow high;
- Use a pool cover to help reduce evaporation;
- Utilize soaker hoses or drip irrigation;
- Wash your car with water from a bucket.
Water Conservation in the Garden
- Avoid thirsty plants;
- Choose plants native to that area;
- Collect rainwater in a bucket to use for watering;
- Ensure you don’t overwater the plants;
- Use a thick layer of mulch;
- Water the soil, not the leaves.
Additional Resources on Water Conservation
Even with the above tips, some may find themselves wanting more resources discussing the benefits of/how to conserve water. Here is a non-exhaustive list of additional resources you can use if you find yourself wanting more information on the matter:
Water Conservation Resources for Kids
- A Drop In The Bucket;
- Children’s Water Education Council;
- Conserving Water at Home;
- Meter Hero;
- National Geographic Kids;
- Water Calculator;
- Water Treatment Plant;