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What's the cost of not conserving?

The average amounts of water it takes for different uses are listed in the chart below. If there are water-saving devices then these amounts will be much lower. Use regular or 'high flow' numbers in column 2 if your house or school has older plumbing. If your house or school was built in the last 5 years or has been retrofitted with low-flow fixtures use the water-saving column 3 numbers.

To find our how much water you use, fill in the number of minutes or uses for each use in the "minutes column" number 4. Then using the correct column (regular or water-saving) multiply by the number of minutes or uses a day and put the result in column 5. Add up the amounts in column 5 to get the total.

Fixture or water use


Column 1

With regular fixtures you use:

Column 2

With water-saving fixture you use:

Column 3

Minutes or uses per day

Column 4

Total water use per day


Column 5

How else can you save water?


Column 6

Shower 7 gallons per minute 2.5 gallons per minute    

Take shorter showers.



28-36 gallons for full tub 14-18 gallons for 1/2 tub    

Don't fill the tub as full and save up to half the water.

Running faucet


3 gallons per minute 2 to 2.5 gallons per minute    

Turn off water when not needed.

Washing machine


40-55 gallons per load 18-25 gallons a load    

Wash full loads. Use a machine which has water level settings.



15 gallons per load      

Wash full loads. Use a machine with wash settings.

Lawn watering


3 to 10 gallons per minute      

Use a hose with cut off nozzle so water runs only when needed.

Toilet 6 gallons per flush 1.6 gallons per flush    

Don't flush trash/insects.

Toothbrushing with water running 3 gallons per minute 1.5 gallons per minute     Turn off water when not needed.
Hand dishwashing 3 gallons per minute 2.2 gallons per minute     Fill a basin with water to rinse.
Other uses 10 gallons per minute        


Things to think about:

1. What are reasons you can think of to install new fixtures that save water?

2. What are reasons you can think of that might keep someone from installing new water saving devices?

Action to take:

Can you create an ad or poster to try to convince someone to install new water-saving devices? Think about how can you convince people that the cost of not conserving water and having water shortages might be higher than the cost of installing new fixtures. Use the resources below to find out about more water saving devices so you will be more knowledgeable. Visit local appliance stores and ask about new, water-saving appliances. Your local or regional water management office may also have information. In some areas rebates and special pricing is available for people who are installing water-saving devices in older buildings and homes.


Water saving devices
Find out more about them and how they work to save water.

Read about the Toilet Tummy, the Frugal Flush and the Water Bank. Also read about high efficiency toilets and how they save water.

Find out about faucet aerators and how they work.

Shower heads
Find out about the Spoiler or the Vandal Proof.

Washing Machines
Learn what the energy star label means and how these machines can save water.

Laundry rooms
Do laundry rooms save money or water? Find out using the online laundry calculator.

Water Audit
A check list that can be used to develop your own audit list for a home, school, or business.

See a Vendor pdf list of many available water saving devices, including a waterless urinal, currently available. Contact information for various companies which manufacture or offer the items for sale is listed so you can write for more information.