Sometimes we forget when we’re watering our plants, or taking an extra long shower, but there is only so much usable water on the planet. Americans consume an average of 90 gallons of water a day compared to Europeans who average 53, while sub-Saharan Africans on average consume only 3-5 gallons a day.
Water efficiency isn’t just a way to save a few dollars each month, it’s a way to limit your personal usage of a resource that is vital to the planet. The issue of water efficiency is especially relevant this summer, as over 50% of Americans are experiencing the effects of drought. You can ensure that you are consuming water responsibly by using WaterSense products, and by making small changes in your daily life at home.
Household Water Usage
- Family of 4 goes through around 400 gallons day
- 70% of our water consumption is inside our home
- Indoor water usage: 27% toilet, 22% washing machine, 17% shower, 16% faucet, 13% leaks, 5% other
- Requires energy, money to pump water through pipes
The best way to cut down on your water usage is to install efficient appliances in your home and to eliminate leaks from pipes and faucets. Leaking pipes can result in thousands of wasted gallons per month, so its important to make sure your waterways are leak free each year. Find out ways to find and stop leaks here, and make sure you have a water efficient household . You can also save water by making sure you turn the faucet off when brushing your teeth or shaving, and taking efficient showers.
Water efficient shower-heads are inexpensive, easy to install, and can save hundreds of gallons of water a month. Low-flow faucets that use 30% water can also be easily installed on sinks to limit wasting water. Toilets and washing machines account for most household water usage. If you have an old washing machine or toilet, you are wasting thousands of gallons of water and should consider updating your water systems immediately.
The US Environmental Protection Agency has created the WaterSense label to help consumers choose appliances and services that will actively reduce the amount of water used. WaterSense is similar to the EnergyStar label, and seeks to promote sustainability and improved production. WaterSense products are at least 20% more efficient, and by replacing the outdated appliances in your home you could drastically reduce the amount of water your household consumes. Additionally, reducing your water footprint will save you money each month.
Water efficiency is a great way to save money and be responsible about your resource consumption. Every time you turn a faucet, remember that there is a finite amount of water on this planet, and that the US uses far more water than any other country. By making a few simple changes, you can reduce the amount of water you waste and be more efficient.