Use Water Wisely
Water is one of the most precious resources around. Using water efficiently makes sense in every way.
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. Got a leak? Simple ways you can check.
Save money by conserving water. 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.
Vancouver’s Water Use Efficiency Program
In the state of Washington, municipal water suppliers must meet Water Use Efficiency (WUE) requirements found in WAC 246-290. Under these requirements, municipal water suppliers must:
- Publicly establish water savings goals for their customers.
- Evaluate or implement specific water saving measures to achieve customer-based goals.
- Develop a WUE program to support the established goals and obtain approval of the goals by the water system’s governing body every ten (10) years.
- Achieve a standard three-year average distribution system leakage of no more than ten percent (10%).
- Report annually on progress towards achieving these goals
You Can Make a Difference
We all play a part in determining the quality of life of our community and our environment. Here are some water conservation resources to help get you started:
100 Water-saving Tips
Learn 100 ways to to conserve water, courtesy of ‘Water Use It Wisely.’
Use this handy calculator to determine just how much water is wasted in a day, month or year through leaks. The WaterWiser Drip Calculator is provided by the American Water Works Association.
How to Conserve Water and Use it Efficiently
Learn all about WaterSense, including practices for residential and industrial/commercial users through the US EPA partnership program.
Things You Can Do
The US Environmental Protection Agency offers a world of ways you can make a difference with water. Visit this page for a collection of sites and information.
World Water Day
International World Water Day is held annually on 22 March as a means of focusing attention on the importance of freshwater and advocating for the sustainable management of freshwater resources.
Education, news and other information through Interactive web site that strives to meet the information needs of the water conservation community and the drinking water industry, courtesy the American Water Works Association.