Simple and Affordable Water
By: Sarah Bernheim
With serious droughts in many parts of the world,
municipal water utility rates are on the rise. In many
areas, a drought or limited-water regulation will
result in a significant spike in water utility rates.
While everyone needs access to safe, clean water,
most of the water used in modern homes goes to
waste. The following guide provides simple tips and
tricks for conserving water in one's home.
Personal hygiene is one of the largest sources of
water loss in a modern home. On average, an
individual in the United States uses 123 gallons of
water every day. Less than 1 gallon is used as
drinking water. Most of the water in a home is used
for showers, toilets, baths and dish washing.
Many home improvement stores sell specialized shower fixtures that can conserve water. While many
people may feel that these provide an inferior shower experience, there are several ways to enjoy a
great shower and conserve water. It's important to make sure that the water pressure at a home is at
least 80 pounds per square inch (PSI). A high pressure shower head can provide a great experience while
reducing one's water usage.
The average bath requires over 80 gallons of water. While a bath may be fun once in a while, it should
not be used for daily personal hygiene. In addition, a bath is less hygienic than a shower. Since one
remains in the same bath water for an extended time, it's often possible to re-deposit germs and dirt on
one's skin. A bath should be saved for relaxation.
The average individual uses 20 gallons of water to wash dishes every day. For a family of 4, this number
can grow to 80 gallons a day.
It's a good idea to use an energy-efficient dishwasher instead of hand-washing. The average energy-
efficient dishwasher will use less than 12 gallons per load. Since a dishwasher can use the same water
for the duration of a cleaning cycle, there's no need for a constant supply of water. However, it's
important to make sure dishes are properly cleaned of food debris before putting them in a dishwasher.
This will prevent the filter screen on a dishwasher from becoming jammed.
The average home toilet uses over 2 gallons of water per flush. While commercial toilets can use less
water, they rely on a high-pressure water source that isn't available in homes.
In many cases, it's possible to buy a specialized low-water toilet. For individuals looking to save money, a
single brick placed in a toilet reservoir can save over 500 gallons of water a year.
Water conservation can be a great way to save money and promote a green environment.