printer friendly page Water Conservation

Water is a precious natural resource that benefits all living things.  Maintaining a safe and adequate water supply is everyone's responsibility. Your daily actions directly impact water supplies.

Average Water use Inside the Home.  Source: CT Sea Grant
Source:  Connecticut Sea Grant Fact Sheet #10

Water Saving Tips

  • The average U.S. household uses more than 22,000 gallons of water per year just on showers and baths. (Source: New American Dream) Shorten shower time.  Using water to wet down and rinse off only can save up to seven gallons of water/minute. Fill the bathtub halfway to save up to 15 gallons. Install low-flow showerheads and shut-off valves. Run hot water very briefly before getting into the shower.
  • Insulate hot water tanks to reduce the time to get hot water from the tap.
  • Install low-flow faucet fixtures.
  • Repair leaks promptly. One leaky faucet can waste 15 gallons of water/day; a leaky toilet can waste 170 gallons a day.
  • Turn faucets off tightly when not in use.
  • Turn water on and off when brushing teeth, shaving, and washing dishes.
  • Turn the water on and off when washing the car.  A running hose wastes over 100 gallons of water in the time it takes to wash the car.
  • Replace older toilets with ultra-low flow models. The newer low flow models work well.
  • If you don't have a low-flow toilet, put a brick in the water tank.
  • Store a pitcher of cold water in the refrigerator.
  • Use an automatic dishwasher (it uses less water than hand washing), running only full loads and avoiding pre-rinsing.
  • Sort clothing, pretreat stains, and select the appropriate load size for laundry.
  • When purchasing a washing machine, consider a front-loading model.  They use 70% less water, detergent and fabric softeners.
  • Landscape to minimize watering (called xeriscaping), by using drought-resistant plants, and improving soils or using mulch. (Note: Over-mulching trees and shrubs can kill them. Don't use more than 3" and don't let mulch come into contact with tree trunk).
  • Direct gutters to rain barrels or rainwater tanks for use in watering nearby lawns, hanging plants and gardens. 1,000 square feet of roof can collect 420 gallons of water from 1 inch of rain.
  • Don't mow the lawn shorter than 3 inches. 
  • Water the lawn only when necessary.  Step on the grass; if it springs back up when you move your foot, it does not need water.
  • Water lawns early in the morning, when it is cooler.
  • Use shut off valves on hoses.
  • Consider drip irrigation around trees and shrubs.
  • Cover a swimming pool. An average sized pool can evaporate about 1,000 gallons of water per month if left uncovered. A pool cover can cut the loss by up to 90%.
  • Spread out high water use throughout the day and evening to avoid taxing your well.

More Information:


  • Albuquerque Public Works Conservation Office, www.cabq.gov/waterconservation/outdoor.html
  • Connecticut Sea Grant, Conserving Water at Home, Fact Sheet 10.
  • Connecticut Sea Grant, Conservation Landscaping for Water Quality, Fact Sheet 5.
  • Connecticut Life and Casualty.
  • University of Connecticut, The Problem of Over Mulching, brochure, undated
Stream in Woodstock.  Photo by E Zimmerman
Conservation Commission
Little drops of water, little grains of sand,
Make the mighty ocean and the pleasant land.

- Julia A. Fletcher Carney