Water Conservation

The City of Vancouver is a Water Sense Partner. Conserving water makes good sense in every way. Here's how you can help.

Did you know that the average family of four uses about 400 gallons of water a day?

Some of that water may be going down the pipe needlessly. In the United States, the average toilet uses 5-7 gallons of water per flush and the average shower as much as 5 gallons per minute. Leaky toilets can waste as much as 200 gallons each day.

Using water wisely helps conserve supplies and can help save on water bills. To get started, here are some water conservation tips:


  • Don't use the toilet as a wastebasket. Each flush wastes water.
  • Check toilets and faucets for leaks and fix any problems.
  • Run your dishwasher only when it's full.
  • Wash only full loads of laundry or use the proper water level setting for your load size.
  • Don't leave the water running when brushing your teeth or shaving. With the tap running at full force, shaving takes 20 gallons of water, teeth-brushing takes 10.
  • Take shorter showers or use less water in your bath. A full bathtub requires about 36 gallons of water. A five-minute shower using a water-conserving showerhead will use just 15 to 25 gallons.
  • Consider installing water-efficient toilets, faucets and showerheads as a water-saving investment.


  • Go native. Use native or Pacific Northwest-friendly plants and trees in your yard instead of green lawn. Native plants are  suited to our seasonal weather and more disease and insect-resistant.
  • Improve your soil by working organic materials, such as peat moss or compost, into the soil to help retain water. Consider aerating your yard to help it retain water.
  • Water efficiently using a drip system or a sprinkler with a low application rate and check for even coverage. Established grass only needs an inch of water each week.
  • To reduce evaporation, water your lawn and gardens in the early morning or evening.
  • Never water the sidewalk, driveway or street. Make sure the sprinkler aim is limited to the lawn or garden.
  • Apply mulch around plants and trees to retain moisture and inhibit weed growth.
  • Use a broom, not a hose, to clean driveways and sidewalks.