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Ways to Save Water

By Edited Nov 17, 2015 1 3

Save water, save the world

Water is easy to take for granted, it comes pouring out of the tap with a simple twist of a knob, but the reality is the well may be running dry. Demand for water is outpacing supply making water conservation a necessity and global priority. Here's how to save water and change the world...without leaving home.

1.Use the dishwasher. Doing dishes by hand takes between 20 to 40 gallons of water according to Scientific American, compared to just 10 gallons used by water saving automatic dishwashers. If hand washing is unavoidable, don't leave the water running to minimize water use.

2.Stop watering the lawn to start saving water and money. NASA reports that lawns are the number one irrigated crop in the United States. As much as 50% to 70% of home water use goes into landscaping, but American lawns don't need this much water. Instead of watering the lawn daily, only water when it needs it. Look for wilting or browning before turning on the sprinkler. It is possible to grow a green lawn without water. Not only will this conserve water, it will cut the water bill in half.

3.Go to the car wash. Washing the car in the driveway may seem cheaper, but Scientific American reports DIY car washing wastes almost triple the amount of water as an automated car wash. At the very least, save water by using a bucket and turning off the hose when washing the car.

4.Install water saving devices and repair leaks. Showers should have low flow shower heads. Since toilets account for almost 40% of home water usage, consider swapping out the current throne for a dual flush toilet. In the kitchen, which is responsible for 15% of total water use in a home, use a faucet aerator. Outside, harvest rain water for garden irrigation and install nozzles on garden hoses to prevent unnecessary water loss. Don't forget to fix drips and leaks which can waste up to 560 gallons of water a month.

5.Reduce, reuse and recycle are all important ways to save water. Why the three Rs? Because household use accounts for just 6% of water consumption. The other 94% is used to hydrate crops, livestock and make consumer goods. The more processing a food or product undergoes, the more water it uses. Mother Jones magazine calculated how much water it takes to create every day products. Some examples:

-Microchips take 8 gallons of water to produce.
-Blue jeans use 2866 gallons of water.
-One hamburger consumes 634 gallons.
-An apple uses 18 gallons, but apple juice uses more than double that amount.

To offset commercial water footprints, consumers can reduce use of retail goods and processed foods. Reuse by 'upcycling' existing items, buying goods secondhand or even using pasta water to water the garden instead of pouring it down the drain. Recycle what can't be reused.

These five save water tips are easy, but their impact on current and future water supply is great. Plus, they save money, so what's not to love about saving water?


Jan 27, 2010 8:43am
You have some good ideas here, Although I really cannot see how a dishwasher uses less water. Sometimes I wash up lunch and dinner dishes together and not use much water.
Jan 27, 2010 11:29am
Hey Eileen. I am sure there are exceptions. But, on average, Scientific American measured 20-40 gallons of waste while hand washing. Dishwashers used a fixed amount and some newer models don't use much water at all.
Feb 2, 2010 2:04pm
Yep, I read the dishwasher report before. Didn't take me any convincing because I hate doing dishes! It makes sense if save up your dishes and do 'em once a day instead of washing dishes by hand and letting the water run and all.
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