IN THE BATHROOM:
1. Put a plastic bottle or a plastic bag weighted with pebbles and filled with water in your toilet tank. Displacing water in this manner allows you to use less water with each flush. Saves five to 10 gallons a day. That's up to 300 gallons a month, even more for large families. Better yet, for even greater savings, replace your water-guzzling five-to-seven-gallon-a-flush toilet with a three-and-a-half-gallon, low flush or one one-and-a-half gallon, ultra-low-flush model.
2. Take baths instead of showers. A partially filled tub uses less water than all but the shortest showers. Saves 15 to 20 gallons each time.
3. If you're taking a shower, don't waste cold water while waiting for hot water to reach the showerhead. Catch the water in a container to use on your outside plants or to flush your toilet. Saves 200 to 300 gallons a month.
4. Check toilet for leaks. Put dye tablets or food coloring into the tank. If color appears in the bowl without flushing, there's a leak that should be repaired. Saves 400 gallons a month.
5. Turn off the water while brushing your teeth. Saves three gallons each day.
6. Turn off the water while shaving. Fill the bottom of the sink with a few inches of water to rinse your razor. Saves three gallons each day.
IN THE KITCHEN AND LAUNDRY:
7. If you wash dishes by hand -- and during a drought that's the best way -- don't leave the water running for rinsing. If you have two sinks, fill one with rinse water. If you only have one sink, use a spray device or short blasts instead of letting the water run. Saves 200 to 500 gallons a month.
8. When washing dishes by hand, use the least amount of detergent possible. This minimizes rinse water needed. Saves 50 to 150 gallons a month.
9. Keep a bottle of drinking water in the refrigerator. This beats the wasteful habit of running tap water to cool it for drinking. Saves 200 to 300 gallons a month.
10. Don't defrost frozen foods with running water. Either plan ahead by placing frozen items in the refrigerator overnight or defrost them in the microwave. Saves 50 to 150 gallons a month.
11. Don't let the faucet run while you clean vegetables. Rinse them in a filled sink or pan. Saves 150 to 250 gallons a month.
12. Use the garbage disposal less and the garbage more. Saves 50 to 150 gallons a month.
(INDOOR SAVINGS BASED ON A FAMILY OF TWO ADULTS AND ONE CHILD)
13. Put a layer of mulch around trees and plants. Chunks of bark, peat moss or gravel slows evaporation. Saves 750 to 1,500 gallons a month.
14. If you have a pool, use a pool cover to cut down on evaporation. It will also keep your pool cleaner and reduce the need to add chemicals. Saves 1,000 gallons a month.
15. Water during the cool parts of the day. Early morning is better than dusk since it helps prevent the growth of fungus. Saves 300 gallons a month.
16. Don't water the lawn on windy days. There's too much evaporation. Can waste up to 300 gallons in one watering.
17. Cut down watering on cool and overcast days and don't water in the rain. Adjust or deactivate automatic sprinklers. Can save up to 300 gallons each time.
18. Set lawn mower blades one notch higher. Longer grass means less evaporation. Saves 500 to 1,500 gallons each month.
19. Have an evaporative air conditioner? Direct the water drain line to a flower bed, tree base or lawn,
20. If municipal ordinances don't prohibit it, drive your car onto a lawn to wash it. Rinse water can help water the grass.
21. Tell your children not to play with the garden hose. Saves 10 gallons a minute..
22. If you allow your children to play in the sprinklers, make sure it's only when you're watering the yard -- if it's not too cool at that time of day.
23. When taking your car to a car wash -- and during a drought that's a particularly good idea -- be sure it's one of the many that recycles its wash water.
24. If you're working around the yard, clean up with waterless hand cleaner rather than washing under a steady stream of water. Saves seven to 10 gallons each time.
25. If you don't want water, turn the empty water glass upside down in a restaurant. Not only will you save the water you don't drink; you also save the water used to wash the glass. Collectively save millions of gallons a year.
26. And finally, replace high-water-using trees and plants with less thirsty ones. But do this only in non-drought years. Even drought-resistant plantings take extra water to get them going. That'll save 750 to 1,500 gallons a month.
At no time should a watering hose be used to clear leaves and debris from driveways, sidwalks and streets.
For more information on water conservation please go to: http://www.bewaterwise.com
Water Used For Common Activities:
Brushing teeth -- three gallons a day
Shower -- 40 gallons every 10 minutes
Bath -- 20 gallons
Toilet -- 28 gallons a day per person
Clothes Washer -- 45 gallons per load
Cooking -- five gallons a day
Dishwasher -- 15 gallons per load
Hosing driveway -- 50 gallons
Washing car -- 150 gallons