Perhaps we don't really think much about how to save water because, well, water is nearly free. Our water bills, while they can be something of an inconvenience, are never as serious as our power bills (unless you're the Peculiar, Mo., woman who got a $942 water bill). Well, cheap is just the way it's priced. Think of it this way what is more fundamental to life that latest iPhone or water? And yet, an iPhone is priced to be far more expensive than water. You can't depend on our primitive pricing systems to show you what's really important or what's really in short supply.
The thing is, there isn't an endless supply of water. Electricity, perhaps, we do have an endless supply of. This year's drought of the southern states should have made this amply clear. And Americans have quite an addiction to water. While the average European uses perhaps 50 gallons of water a day, Americans use nearly 100 gallons a day each.
Not to mention, when you waste water leaving the faucet running, you aren't just wasting water you're wasting electricity. Because it takes electricity to pump all those billions of gallons of water all the way from the rivers, lakes and other reservoirs to where you are. Would you believe that when you leave the faucet running through the average shave, you're actually wasting enough electricity to run a 100 W light bulb for 10 hours? And that's not even assuming that you're using hot water. Just think of all the coal that is burned for no reason for that electricity. And so, here are a few pointers to help you learn how to save water (and electricity by extension)
Certainly, shutting off the faucet every time you don't actually using water is a great start. But the EPA puts Water Sensor labels on certified low flow faucets that can be even better. Use these faucets with aerator technology and you can cut down your water use by third.
The faucets are only part of the story. About a fifth of the water you use in the home comes out of the shower. Showering is a great water-efficient way of cleaning yourself. A bath on the other hand is quite an inefficient way. It uses three times as much water as the average shower. And you can get even more efficient get a $20 low flow shower.
But there is something we use all the time that uses up as much water as the shower, the bath and the wash basin, all put together it's the toilet. The average home toilet leaks too. Fixing a toilet leak can save hundreds of gallons a month. And then, if you could invest in a $250 high-efficiency toilet, you would actually save so much on your water bills, you would make the $250 back in three years.