How can I Use Less Water?

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  • Written By: Mary McMahon
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 02 November 2019
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There are lots of reasons to reduce your water consumption. In many areas, water bills are high, leading consumers to seek out ways to use less water. In drought-prone regions, local governments may require citizens to conserve water, especially in the dry summer months. In other instances, people simply want to use less water to reduce their footprint on the Earth. There are a number of ways in which people can reduce the amount of water they use, and most of them require very little effort.

Start in the bathroom, which can use a large portion of your household water. To use less water in the bathroom, consider purchasing a low flow toilet or putting bricks into your toilet to reduce the amount of water held in the toilet tank. Install a low flow shower head in the shower, or use a toggle switch to turn the water on and off as you shower, leaving it off while you soap and wash your hair to reduce water waste. Also avoid leaving the water running while you brush your teeth. All of these measures to use less water are fairly easy, and they will not impact your lifestyle in a major way.


In the kitchen, if you have a double sink, you can use less water by filling one side of the sink for washing dishes and the other for rinsing. Once you're done, recycle the rinse water to water household plants or the garden. Using a biodegradable dish soap will ensure that the rinse water does not hurt the plants. If you have a dishwasher, only run it when it is full, and use an energy efficient cycle. If you cook at home frequently, these steps to use less water in the kitchen can make a big difference.

A washer can also use a great deal of water. Try to only run the washer when it is full, and consider purchasing a high efficiency model when your washer wears out. Make sure to use specialized high efficiency detergent in a high efficiency washer to reduce sudsing, as most washers automatically rinse again if they detect a large amount of suds.

To use less water in the great outdoors, use covers on pools and spas to reduce evaporation. Try to water the garden in the early part of the day to reduce evaporation, and use mulch around your plants to help them retain water. Avoid washing your driveway to clean it, using a large push broom instead, and wash your car only when it absolutely needs it.

If you want to invest more money in using less water, you can install a graywater reclamation system to route water from sinks, showers, washers, and dishwashers into a holding tank for watering the garden. A graywater system can also supply the toilet, so that you are not flushing fresh potable water into the sewer system. Ask a reputable plumber in your region about installing such a system.

Finally, check for leaks. Leaks can account for a large portion of water waste. Make sure that all of your faucets and valves are tightly sealed, and check pipes regularly for breakage. If you detect a leak, fix it promptly so that it does not use any more water. When you eradicate leaks, you use less water and reduce outright waste.


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Post 10

Be careful Anon40097-- you can get heavy metal poisoning drinking water coming from hot-water pipes.

Post 9

Toggle switches are easy to find. Try your local hardware store. My dad called it the Navy Shower: "Get wet, soap up, rinse off." Also avoid bottled water. Much of it is just tap water anyway, so why not fill your own bottles? You'll avoid contributing plastic bottles to the waste stream, plus save the energy used to transport the bottled water, and save some money! If you think your tap water is undrinkable, invest in a reverse osmosis filter system.

Post 8

I use rain water to wash carpets, clean toilets, clean guinea pig house, clean corridor etc. Sometimes I take a bath in that water. It is so good to have bath in rain water. It keeps you healthy. I collect all waters from pipe to small small drums and buckets and filter. I wash my clothing from this water and gives whiter than tubewell waters. in Nepal water has too much iron so it makes cloth yellow. Rain water is very good for a country like Nepal where people cannot have access to water despite fresh water reserves. We have great Himalayas but no drinking waters and no *electricity*. Nepal is second to brazil in hydropower producing capacity in the world. Ha, ha, ha. Nepalese politicians are so wise.

Post 7

When I was young, my family struggled on one income. We watched all of our utilites. My sister and I always took our nightly bubble baths together. We did dishes by filling both sinks, one to wash, one to rinse. We always saved the sudsy water until the end of the evening for later wipe-ups/dishes.

Post 6

Firstly, water drums can also be placed next to the house to collect rainwater and use to water the garden or to flush the toilet. Secondly, whenever I open the hot water tap, I collect the cold water that comes out first into the kettle until the hot water comes out.

Post 5

Conservation is pertinent to those who do not face any major hassles in their daily water supply. Conscientious use may mean wiping things clean rather than hosing them down, steaming stuff rather than boiling (conserve fuel as well). Water recycling systems may not be an option for everybody but water used to rinse cereals/pulses etc. can be used to water plants. Water cuts should be used as a preventive measure rather than in an emergency. Wherever possible minimize the pressure of water to taps in sinks.

Post 4

Have a urinal installed in your home. It ends the seat up/down argument and saves a lot of water.

Post 1

Where can I purchase a toggle switch; especially one which returns the shower to temperature it was before?

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