Did you know that less than 1% of all the water on Earth can be used by people? The rest is salt water (the kind you find in the ocean) or is frozen. Communities across the country are starting to face challenges in maintaining healthy and affordable water supplies; that's why it's more important than ever to use our water wisely and not waste it. In addition, it takes large amounts of energy to produce and transport clean water and to process waste water.
Water Efficient Appliances & Fixtures
Most of us know we can save water if we turn off the tap while brushing our teeth (as much as 3,000 gallons per year!), but did you know that there are products that will help save water when the tap is on? WaterSense and ENERGYSTAR®, programs sponsored by EPA, have identified high-performance, water-efficient appliances, fixtures, water systems, and accessories that reduce water use in the home and help preserve the nation's water resources.
Toilets: Toilets are by far the main source of water use in the home, accounting for nearly 30 percent of residential indoor water consumption. Toilets also happen to be a major source of wasted water due to leaks and inefficiency.
Faucets: Faucets account for more than 15 percent of indoor household water use-more than 1 trillion gallons of water across the United States each year. WaterSense labeled bathroom sink faucets and accessories can reduce a sink's water flow by 30 percent or more without sacrificing performance. If every household in the United States installed WaterSense labeled bathroom sink faucets or faucet accessories, we could save more than $350 million in water utility bills and more than 60 billion gallons of water annually-enough to meet public water demand in a city the size of Miami for more than 150 days!
Showerheads: Showering accounts for approximately 17 percent of residential indoor water use in the United States-more than 1.2 trillion gallons of water consumed each year. You can purchase quality, high-efficiency shower fixtures for around $10 to $20 a piece and achieve water savings of 25-60 percent. Select a high-efficiency showerhead with a flow rate of less than 2.5 gpm (gallons per minute) for maximum water efficiency. Before 1992, some showerheads had flow rates of 5.5 gpm, so you might want to replace older models if you're not sure of the flow rate.
Appliances: If all U.S. households installed water-efficient appliances, the country would save more than 3 trillion gallons of water and more than $18 billion dollars per year! For instance, the average washing machine uses about 41 gallons of water per load, and is the second largest water user in your home. High-efficiency washing machines use 35 to 50 percent less water, as well as 50 percent less energy per load. If you are in the market for a new dishwasher or clothes washer, consider buying an efficient, water-saving ENERGY STAR® model to reduce water and energy use. To save more water, look for a clothes washer with a low water factor. A water factor is the number of gallons per cycle per cubic foot that a clothes washer uses. So, if a washer uses 18 gallons per cycle and has a tub volume of 3.0 cubic feet, then the water factor is 6.0. The lower the water factor, the more efficient the washer is.
Hot Water Systems: Water heating is the third largest energy expense in your home. It typically accounts for about 13% of your utility bill, and can account for 14%-25% of the energy consumed in your home. You can reduce your monthly water heating bills by selecting the appropriate water heater for your home or pool-such as tankless, heat pump, or solar hot water heaters-and by using some energy-efficient water heating strategies.