According to the Texas State Water Plan, Texas' existing water sources will meet only 75 percent of the projected water demand by 2050. Single-family residential indoor water use in the U.S. is an average of 69 gallons per person per day.
Reducing wasting habits can save even more water. Using water more efficiently will not only save money, but more importantly, will help protect the quality of life of future generations.
The cost of new or renovated water infrastructure, waste water treatment, and water supply is estimated to be $107 billion over the next 50 years. Each of us together can save billions of tax dollars by making our households water smart.
If a family of four replaces its 3.5 gallon per flush toilet made before 1994 with a WaterSense labeled toilet, they could save $90 a year.
Tips to Preventing Water Waste
- Harvest the rain: Buy a rain barrel or a cistern and collect the water from your gutters to water your plants.
- In the bathroom: Don’t waste water when brushing your teeth or shaving. Shut off the water until it is time to rinse when brushing your teeth. Fill the sink with hot water instead of letting the water run continuously when shaving. Don’t shave in the shower.
- In the kitchen: Rinse produce in a pan of cold water instead of letting the water run while you rinse it. Keep a container of water in the refrigerator rather than running tap water until it is cool enough to drink.
- In the laundry room: Wash only full loads. If you must wash partial loads, match the load setting with the amount of laundry to be washed. Pretreat stains to avoid washing again. Use the shortest wash cycle for lightly soiled loads as it uses less water than other cycles.
Water-Efficient Shower Heads
Installing a water-efficient shower head is an excellent way to conserve water at home. To see if it makes sense to replace your existing shower head, perform this simple test. Turn on your shower at the usual pressure and hold an empty one-gallon container, such as a plastic milk carton, under your shower head. Note how long it takes to fill with water. If it takes 20 seconds or less to fill, then you have a shower head that uses at least 3 gallons per minute, a prime candidate for replacement. A shower head designed with conservation in mind will take at least 24 seconds to fill a gallon bucket. That means the flow is at a rate of less than 2.5 gallons per minute.
Repairing Leaking Faucets
Don’t ignore a leaking faucet, they are usually easy and inexpensive to repair. Turn off the valve under the sink until you get around to repairing the leak. A slow drip can waste as much as 170 gallons of water each day.
Use Water Efficiently
Don’t waste water by cleaning streets or sidewalks with it. Drip irrigation is the most efficient method of watering areas such as bedding plants, trees, or shrubs. Learn more about Irving's Irrigation Policy and Procedures.
Water Conservation Tips
- Don't let the water run while shaving or brushing teeth. Take short showers instead of tub baths.
- Keep drinking water in the refrigerator instead of letting the faucet run until the water is cool.
- Scrape, rather than rinse, dishes before loading into the dishwasher. Wash only full loads.
- Wash only full loads of laundry or use the appropriate water level or load size selection on the washing machine.
- Buy high-efficient plumbing fixtures and appliances.
- Repair all leaks. A leaky toilet can waste 200 gallons a day.
- Water the lawn or garden during the coolest part of the day. Early morning is best.
- Water plants differently according to what they need. Check with your local extension service or nurseries for advice.
- Set sprinklers to water the lawn or garden only, not the street or sidewalk.
- Use soaker hoses or trickle irrigation systems for trees and shrubs.