Saving water indoors this winter

Last Updated: 1/12/2016

Now that winter is upon us, outdoor watering usually is reduced to little or none at all.  Mother Nature  has us covered since it's cooler and also because there is moisture in the air that helps keep landscapes thriving. So, how can you save water still? Easy--focus on indoor use. 

Indoor water use accounts for only a portion of your collective water use, but every bit counts, especially if drought conditions remain steady. And, as you host holiday dinners, out of town guests, or spend more time at home, consider these indoor tips.  

Top three things you can implement right away.

1 - Limit showers to five minutes or less. (Saves 12.5 gallons with a standard showerhead.)

  • Taking shorter showers is an easy, cost-free way to save water. 
  • Every minute in the shower uses 2.5 gallons of water with a standard showerhead. By cutting a 10-minute shower in half, you can save 12.5 gallons per shower (which adds up to more than 87 gallons per week!).
  • Want to save even more water? Get a WaterSense-labeled showerhead that only uses 2 gallons a minute

2 - Turn off the water when rinsing dishes, soaping hands, brushing teeth or shaving.  (Saves 2.5 gallons per minute or about 10 gallons per day.)

  • It may not seem like much to let the water run, but faucets in the kitchen and bath account for 16 percent of water use in the average household.
  • Multiply that by the number of times you turn on the tap--to rinse dishes, wash hands, brush teeth or shave. Then factor in all of the members of your family, and it all adds up.
  • Cut down on tap time, and you will automatically save water--about 10 gallons a day (or more than 3,650 gallons a year).

3 - Check plumbing and appliances for leaks and fix them within 48 hours. (Fixing leaky faucets saves 15-20 gallons per day per leak, and fixing leaky toilets saves 30-50 gallons per day per toilet.)

  • Steady faucet drips and running toilets are common sources of leaks that can waste thousands of gallons of water each month.
  • Fixing them can be as simple as replacing a washer or toilet flapper.
  • When you find leaks, be sure to turn off water to the problem area until it can be repaired.