26 Indoor Water Conservation Tips

Cat Drinking Water from Tap

How Much Water Do You Use?

It has been found that the average Southern California home uses 384 gallons of water daily, indoors and out. The average apartment or condominium uses 256 gallons daily. And a single individual uses about 150 gallons a day, including outdoor watering. The chart below provides information on how much water our daily activities consume.

Water use efficiency is an effort we can practice every day. With just a little adjustment to your normal activities, like shorter showers, or turning off the faucet while brushing, you can save water and money.

Activity Amount of Water Used
Brushing Teeth 3 gallons per day
Shower 40 gallons every 10 minutes
Bath 20 gallons
Toilet 28 gallons per day per person
Washing Machine 45 gallons per load
Cooking 5 gallons per day
Dishwasher 15 gallons per load
Landscape Irrigation 350 gallons per day

We’ve compiled a list of practices and appliances to help you find a conservation lifestyle that best fits your family and home.

In the Bathroom

  • If you're taking a shower, don't waste cold water while waiting for hot water to reach the shower head. Catch that water in a container to use on your outside plants or to flush your toilet. Save 200 to 300 gallons a month.
  • Shorten showers. Even a one or two minute reduction can save up to 700 gallons a month.
  • Take baths instead of showers. A partially filled tub uses less water than all but the shortest showers. Save 15 to 20 gallons each time.
  • Turn off the water while brushing your teeth. Save 3 gallons daily.
  • Turn off the water while shaving. Fill the bottom of the sink with a few inches of water to rinse your razor. Save 3 gallons daily.
  • Don't use your toilet as an ashtray or wastebasket to flush refuse or pet waste. Save 400 to 600 gallons monthly.

In the Kitchen

  • If you have two sinks, fill one with rinse water instead of running the faucet to rinse. If you only have one sink, use a spray device or short blasts instead of letting the water run. Save 200 to 500 gallons a month.
  • When washing dishes by hand, use the least amount of detergent possible. This minimizes rinse water needed. You can save 50 to 150 gallons a month.
  • Keep a pitcher of drinking water in the refrigerator. This beats the wasteful habit of running tap water to cool it for drinking. You can save 200 to 300 gallons a month.
  • Don't defrost frozen foods with running water. Either plan ahead by placing frozen items in the refrigerator overnight or defrost them in the microwave. You can save 50 to 150 gallons a month.
  • Don't let the faucet run while you clean fruits or vegetables. Rinse them in a filled sink or pan. You can save 150 to 250 gallons a month.
  • Use the garbage disposal less and the garbage can more. You can save 50 to 150 gallons a month.
  • If you go out to eat, turn the empty water glass upside down if you don't want water. Not only will you save the water you don't drink, you'll also save the water used to wash the glass. Collectively we can save millions of gallons a year.

Practices

  • Fix leaky toilets: Save 30 to 100 gallons per day
  • Fix leaky faucetsSave 15 to 20 gallons per day
  • Shorten showersSave 2.5 gallons per minute. Catch the water while your shower is heating up and use it to water plants, clean, or drink.
  • Fill bathtubs halfwaySave 12 gallons per bath.
  • Turn water off while brushing teeth or shavingSave 2 to 2.5 gallons per minute.
  • Turn off water while washing dishesSave 2.5 gallons per minute.
  • Run washing machines with full loadsSave 15 to 50 gallons per load.
  • Run dishwasher with full loadsSave 2 to 4.5 gallons per load.

Fixtures

  • Install faucet aeratorsSave up to 5 gallons per minute.
  • Replace older showerheadsSave 1.5 gallons per minute.
  • Replace older toiletsSave 1.9 to 3.8 gallons per flush by using ultra low-flow, high efficiency or dual flush models.
  • Replace older washing machinesSave 20 to 30 gallons per load.
  • Replace older dishwashersSave 2.5 to 9.5 gallons per load.
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