With water bills rising and many water tables going down, it makes eco-sense and dollar cents to conserve. Here are five painless ways to get started.
1. Install a Low-Flow Showerhead
Save water and money, and still have ample water pressure, with a low-flow showerhead, which can slash bathing-water consumption 50 to 70 percent. The devices are simple to install and start at around $8. Many styles and features are available, including flow-adjusting dials and a pause button.
2. Turn Off the Tap While You Brush
Don't let your water dollars -- and one of nature's most precious resources -- run down the drain. Just turn off the water while you brush your teeth. The average bathroom faucet flows at a rate of two gallons a minute, according to the EPA's WaterSense initiative. That means you'll save up to 8 gallons of water a day per person.
3. Water Your Yard in the Morning
The best time to water outdoors is in the morning, both to reduce water waste and to promote healthy flora. Morning air is cooler, so less water is lost to evaporation than during the middle of the day. If you water in the evening, you run the risk of promoting fungi and bacterial diseases.
4. Use a Pro Car Wash
It may surprise you, but commercial car washes use water more efficiently, typically using 45 gallons of water per car. Home washers typically use between 80 and 140 gallons. Commercial car washes must also drain their wastewater into sewers, versus simply running it across your driveway into the land.
5. Fix That Leak
Don't ignore that dripping faucet or leaky pipe joint. One faulty faucet wastes 3 gallons of water per day, reports the U.S. Geological Survey. So get a pipe wrench and tighten those seals, replace old and worn hardware, and call your neighborhood plumber if you need help. Every drop really does add up.