water tap with droplet out

How to Reduce Water Consumption

There’s no doubt that water is vital to our lives, and we can’t survive without it. However, when we use more water than we need, we’re depleting a valuable resource that we may take for granted.

It’s essential to be mindful of how much water you use and not overconsume this vital resource. However, reducing water consumption isn’t a one-time fix. It requires a change in our daily habits.

Wondering how you can cut unnecessary water usage out of your everyday habit? Keep reading to learn water saving tips for how to reduce your water consumption.

What Is Water Consumption?

Water consumption is the amount of water you use to live your daily life. The U.S. and Canada have some of the safest water in the world, and it’s easy to take advantage of it and not think twice about consuming it. This leads to easy overconsumption.

When people think of water consumption, they often think of the rate at which humans and animals drink water. However, the amount of water we drink as humans is far from the problem of overconsumption.

Did you know the average American family uses 300 gallons of water per day in their home? Clearly, no family is drinking anywhere near that much water a day. So what is this water being used for?

Common sources of water consumption include:

  • Showering and bathing
  • Running the washing machine
  • Using the toilet
  • Washing dishes
  • Brushing teeth
  • Cooking
  • Tending to plants

In these mindless daily actions, you are likely using more water than necessary, adding to your total water footprint. Wondering what the impact is on our environment? Let’s take a look.

The Effects of Overconsumption of Water

While water is a renewable resource, that doesn’t mean it is unlimited. Consuming more clean water than the earth can maintain at a time is possible.

For example, many areas of the world get rain or snow regularly, but bodies of water, such as lakes, can take decades to cycle through. Bigger bodies of water, such as oceans or glaciers, can take even longer than that – sometimes up to thousands of years.

So if we continue to use water mindlessly, the earth may be unable to keep up. This is already the reality of areas with little to no precipitation, where when water is used up, that’s it for a long time. As global warming worsens, water scarcity will continue to spread.

As scary as this seems, it isn’t too late to do something about it. Willing to learn how to reduce water consumption? Let’s take a look at some habits that you can start right away.

man gets drinking water from kitchen tap

How to Reduce Water Consumption

It’s entirely possible to reduce your water consumption. That said, learning to reduce water consumption requires changing your habits and being consistent with those changes. This will take time, but eventually, these habits will stick, and you’ll see the impact on your water bill.

To help you out, here are four ways to rescue water consumption in your home.

Turn the taps off

If you’re looking to figure out how to lessen water use and water waste, one of the easiest places to start is to turn off your taps when you’re not using them.

There are many times when we might leave a running tap – consciously or unconsciously – and it’s unnecessary. Here are a few examples:

  • Brushing your teeth
  • Washing dishes
  • Watering your garden

Being more mindful of when you’re using the water in these situations instead of letting it run will quickly help reduce your water consumption. You should also check for leaks. A leaky faucet may not seem like it would lead to significant water loss, but it can lead to gallon upon gallon lost over time.

Shorten your showers and limit your baths

We need to shower every day, but people spend more time in the shower than necessary. While nothing beats a warm shower, you shouldn’t treat your shower like a sauna. Take a shorter shower – typically no more than 10 minutes.

The same goes for baths. A good water saving tip is to only fill the bathtub halfway. If you have small children, bathing them together might also be a good idea to save water and time. While everyone enjoys a good bath, you may want to limit how often you choose to take baths to reduce water usage. Keep it for a special occasion!

homemade shower timer in bathroom

Only flush when necessary

Another way that many homes over-consume water is by flushing the toilet too often.

This doesn’t mean you should adopt “If it’s brown, flush it down; if it’s yellow, let it mellow” as your new motto. But you should never use your toilet as a waste basket. While “out of sight, out of mind” may be the idea, the impact remains.

Don’t order water if you won’t drink it

When you sit down, it’s natural at a restaurant to ask for drinking water. However, there may be times when that water goes untouched, either because you order another drink or simply forget about it.

To save water you know you won’t drink, skip asking for it at the beginning of your meal. Instead, only ask for it during dinner if you know you’ll drink it. Always tell your server that you don’t want water before they bring it out.

The Takeaway: Only Consume What’s Vital

Learning how to reduce water consumption in your home is as easy as changing a few of your everyday habits. Remember, a small change in water use can have a significant impact.

Check out this article to learn more about how water conservation saves the environment.