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Published on March 20th, 2009 | by Marika Collins


10 Simple Ways To Conserve Water

Sunday is World Water Day. With the world water crisis representing one of the most significant public health issues facing the world today, we need to find ways to conserve this precious resource now more than ever.

The UN expects that 3.4 billion people will be living in countries defined as water-scarce by 2025. When water is scarce, people are forced to consume contaminated water.

Here are ten simple things you can do to cut down on your water consumption today:

1. Consider the water footprint of your diet. Some foods require a lot more water to produce than others. According to WaterFootprint, it takes 140 liters (35 gallons) of water to make just one cup of coffee, 1,000 liters (270 gallons) to make one liter of milk, and 16,000 liters to make one pound of beef. Check out this online water footprint calculator to see how much water some common foods need in order to be produced. The same principles of decreasing the carbon footprint of your diet (eating local, eating organic, and eating less meat) are generally the same principles for decreasing the water footprint.

2.  Don’t leave the tap running needlessly. If you are washing your face and you need to get the tap warm, use that initial cooler water to brush your teeth, and then wash your face afterwards when the hot water starts coming out.

3. Choose and use your appliances wisely. Use energy star appliances whenever possible and always use them at full capacity. Choose economy settings and don’t run the dishwasher half-full.

4. Install a low-flow toilet (or convert your toilet to a dual flush), and don’t flush it more than necessary. If it’s yellow let it mellow. You might find this toilet tank insert super helpful, too…it’ll reduce the amount of water used every time you flush. And if you really want to up your water conservation game, check out this dual flush toilet converter review. The device is simple to install, saves a ton of water, and pays for itself more than twice over in the first year alone. Here’s a video of the device.

5. Make sure every tap in your home has a high efficiency faucet aerator. Faucet aerators are the little pieces of hardware that screw into the bottom of faucets. High efficiency aerators can reduce flow by 1.5 gallons per minute or more…saving you piles of money and saving lots of water. Check out this high efficiency faucet aerator product review from Green Living Ideas.

6. Stop that leaky toilet. Not only does it sound annoying, it wastes loads of water. Leaks can often be fixed by making minor adjustments. Test your toilet using some dye tablets, available in this all-in-one water conservation kit.

7. Repair dripping faucets by replacing washers. According to American Water & Energy Savers, a faucet that drips at the rate of one drop per second will waste 2,700 gallons per year.

8. You don’t need to take shorter showers, necessarily, but some hardware will help cut the water use every time you shower. At the very least replace your shower head with a high efficiency one. These are designed to maintain water pressure while using much less water than the old-fashioned sort. Treehugger says you will reduce your shower water use by 20 to 60 percent by doing so. Check out this high efficiency showerhead installation tutorial to see how easy it is to cut your shower’s water use (and save piles of money).

9. Never throw water away. If you pour too much out or have some left in your glass, use it. Pour the surplus into your dog’s water dish, water a plant, or add it to your water kettle.

10. Set up a rain barrel this summer. You can collect rain water from your eaves to water your garden.

There is so much that we as individuals can do to help conserve water. Our collective conservation and advocacy efforts will not only reduce our monthly water bills, but will go a long way towards alleviating this growing problem.

You can read more about World Water Day and the world water crisis at and by downloading the UN booklet, Water for Life Decade.

Image Credit: Hypergurl at Flickr under a Creative Commons License.

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About the Author

Marika Collins is a writer, editor, and photographer who cares deeply about animal rights, social justice and the environment. She's a gadget freak and camera aficionado with a book collecting addiction and a mean sweet tooth. Has pen, will travel.

  • brenda black

    Louisville, conserved water. The water company was not making enough money, so are rates went UP!!!! So now less water means that it cost us more!!!!

    • Scott

      Even more incentive, then, to save water. Brenda, the cost of living goes up all the time. Don’t blame sustainability for it. :)

  • ria

    thank you

  • friend of water

    thank you . it is very useful for to finish my assignment . thank you so much

  • varsha

    thank you . it is very useful for to finish my assignment . thank you

  • Zach Smith

    Thank you for these helpful tips! In addition to these, we should all consider the long-term benefits of using efficient appliances such as front load washing machines. These washers cost a lot of money than top loaders but its benefits in energy and water conservation outweighs the initial cost. You can conserve up to 80% less water if you are using this appliance.

    • Anonymous

      Thank you very much to give options for conserving water.I need it for poster making competition.

    • Anonymous

      Front-load washers also have a tendancy to develop mold at a faster rate, since there is less air escaping while it is not running, compared to top-loaders. Top-load HE washers work just find.

  • BeWaterWise Rep

    Great Tips! Today when fresh water levels in many parts of the world have dropped alarmingly, the need to spread awareness on water conservation is important. Posts like these go a long way in educating people about the importance of water conservation. In fact also has a very good section on how to conserve water at home and work –
    Hope this info is useful!

  • Thor

    Its interesting that the article does not recommend a reduction in meat consumption.

  • Andrew

    I collect all the initial cold water from hot water tap. It either waters my plants or tops up my grey water from my washing up bowl which I use to save extra toilet flushes. The problem is that most people I know would think I am mad so I keep my eco saving activities strictly private.

  • Gregor

    you forgot the most important, significant AND EASY way to conserve tons of water… BEING A VEGETARIAN!!

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