Most Common Water Wasting Habits

For many of us, water is often taken for granted and considered readily available. However, water is a finite resource, and despite growing awareness of the importance of water conservation, many Americans continue to waste substantial amounts of water daily. By recognizing these habits, we can reduce our utility bills and help prevent water shortages across the country and the world.

With experts predicting global fresh water will be outweighed by demand by 2030, we must all do our part to preserve this precious natural resource. Here, we explore the most common water-wasting habits in the U.S. and offer practical solutions to contribute to a more sustainable future.

Taking long showers and unnecessary baths

Taking excessively long showers is one of the most significant ways people are wasteful. With the average American using around 17.6 gallons of water per shower, the amount used just for your household to wash is already shockingly high – before turning on the taps for hand washing, house cleaning, teeth cleaning, and everything else throughout the day.

Limiting your showers to 5-10 minutes and turning off the flow when shaving can pile up the savings. Installing a low-flow aerator head and taps in your shower can also help. This adds more oxygen, so it uses less water to achieve the same pressure—up to 50% less.

Overwatering lawns and yards

Overwatering is a common issue in America, especially in neighborhoods where lush, green yards and picturesque lawns are highly valued. Throughout the summer, using the tap to hydrate your yard more frequently than necessary is tempting, but there is a way to do so without wasting excessive water.

Invest in a few rain barrels so that you can sprinkle your yard and lawn with rainwater, and do so in the early morning or evening to minimize evaporation. You could also landscape with drought-resistant plants or install a rain sensor on your irrigation system to ensure it doesn’t operate after rainfall. If you’re lucky enough to have a swimming pool, investing in a pool cover can save up to 95% of pool water evaporation.

Car washing

Who doesn’t want their car to gleam? Particularly in summer, it can be a rewarding chore to scrub and polish your vehicle ahead of fun weekend trips and activities. But washing cars at home uses a lot of water and quickly wastes hundreds of gallons. 

Instead, use commercial car washes, where it is typically recycled and used more efficiently. If you must do it at home, use a bucket of soapy water to wash the car and a hose with a shut-off nozzle to rinse it. Being mindful of how much you’re using will go a long way to reducing your wasting habits, as you’ll automatically reduce how much you use daily.

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