Water Use And Conservation: The Basics

dripping tap with plant

Fresh, drinkable water is the world’s most precious resource. Here are some stats on our water usage, and the basics on how to reduce our consumption every day.


Water is the earth’s most precious resource. With less than two percent of the Earth’s water supply being fresh and only one percent available for drinking, this resource is one that should not be taken for granted.

While the supply seems scarce, with the right tips and conservation techniques, there are some basic practices that you can employ at home when it comes to water conservation. From water waste to usage to tips on how to save water at home, we hope this article will leave you with a fresh look on water and will inspire you to add to or change some of your habits.

How much water do we use?

Did you know that the average American uses 400 gallons of water per day? Did you know that if every household in America had a faucet dripping every second, 928 million gallons of water would leak each day?

While taking long showers, watering landscaping, and running dishwashers are all luxuries we enjoy, they actually waste water when done in excess. It also goes beyond this. Cooking, computers, cars, and more all impact the world’s water supply. But just how much do these things really impact our supply?

Indirect water use

Most of us, when thinking of our water footprint, only consider direct usage such as drinking water; however, our indirect uses are also important to consider. When it takes about 37 gallons of water to grow the coffee beans and process one cup of coffee, it’s time for all of us to take a step back and really appreciate the benefit and effects water has on our daily lives.

While it may seem like we cannot do a lot, every drop counts. The first step is to become aware of how much water it actually takes to live our lives comfortably. Elevating this understanding and appreciation will open our eyes to the different, simple measures we can take to help counter the impact of water waste and usage.

Conserving water globe hands

Water conservation tips

It’s in the areas of excess water usage where we can tighten up just how much water we actually use. The tips below are just a starting point for practical water conservation tips.

  • One of the biggest ways to save water is to install water-saving plumbing fixtures. Using low-flow shower heads will save 15 gallons of water during a 10-minute shower
  • Short showers
  • Running the tap when you need water, not in between tasks
  • Fixing your washing machine to the proper load size will also considerably help
  • Cutting down the time you spend using hot water is another way to conserve
  • Gray water systems that re-use dishwater for landscaping water
  • Rainbarrels; an old-fashioned method of water collection that is coming back into vogue for keeping gardens green instead of pulling from the managed water system
  • While we all love a clean car, washing uses 150 gallons of water. If you can handle your car not being sparkling clean for a week or two longer, that will help cut down on your water footprint
  • Buying recycled goods and recycling items is one of the best ways to conserve water, since water is a primary substance in most manufacturing processes. In fact, only buying what you really need is the way to go

Costs of water

While we think water is “free”, it’s actually a resource that we need to learn to treasure, as it is one thing we cannot live without. By incorporating some water-saving habits into our daily routines, we can start to make a positive impact on the world’s water supply in our households as the issue on a global scale is addressed by governments, private interests, and academia.


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