Did you know that taking a short shower uses less water than a bath? Or that toilets alone account for about 32 percent of typical residential water use?
Did you know that taking a short shower uses less water than a bath? Or that toilets alone account for about 32 percent of typical residential water use? Governor Jerry Brown has declared a statewide drought emergency and is asking all Californians to reduce their water use by 20 percent. Indoors, activities such as bathing, cleaning and flushing toilets account for more than half of all water used inside the home, according to the Department of Water Resources’ conservation website, saveourh20.org. The following are water conservation tips for the laundry room, kitchen and bathroom. Laundry room • Use the washing machine for full loads only to save water and energy • Wash dark clothes in cold water to save water and energy. It also helps your clothes retain their color. Kitchen • Run the dishwasher only when full to save water and energy. • When washing dishes by hand, don’t let the water run. Fill one basin with wash water and the other with rinse water. • Soak pots and pans instead of letting the water run while you scrape them clean. • Wash your fruits and vegetables in a pan of water instead of running water from the tap. • Don’t use running water to thaw food. Defrost food in the refrigerator. • Keep a pitcher of drinking water in the refrigerator instead of running the tap. • Cook food in as little water as possible. This also helps it retain more nutrients. • Select the proper pan size for cooking. Large pans may require more cooking water than necessary. • If you accidentally drop ice cubes, don’t throw them in the sink. Drop them in a house plant instead. • Collect the water you use while rinsing fruit and vegetables. Use it to water house plants. • Install aerators on the kitchen faucet to reduce flows to less than one gallon per minute. • Dishwashers typically use less water than washing dishes by hand. • If your dishwasher is new, cut back on rinsing. Newer models clean more thoroughly than older ones. • Use the garbage disposal sparingly. Instead, compost vegetable food waste and save gallons every time. Bathroom • Install low-flow shower heads. Save: 2.5 gallons. • Take five minute showers instead of 10 minute showers. Save: 12.5 gallons with a low flow showerhead, 25 gallons with a standard 5.0 gallon per minute showerhead. • Fill the bathtub halfway or less. Save: 12 gallons. • When running a bath, plug the bathtub before turning on the water. Adjust the temperature as the tub fills. • Install aerators on bathroom faucets. Save: 1.2 gallons per person/day. • Turn off the water while washing your hair and save up to 150 gallons a month. • When washing your hands, turn the water off while you lather. • Take a (short) shower instead of a bath. A bathtub can use up to 70 gallons of water. • Turn water off when brushing teeth or shaving. Save: approximately 10 gallons/day. • Install a high-efficiency toilet. Save: 19 gallons per person/day. • Don’t use the toilet as a wastebasket. • Plug the sink instead of running the water to rinse your razor and save up to 300 gallons a month. • Be sure to test your toilet for leaks at least once a year. Put food coloring in your toilet tank. If it seeps into the bowl without flushing, there’s a leak. Fix it and start saving gallons.