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Simple, Daily Habits to Help You Save Water

Washing machine with clothes inside

Published: 20 August 2021

Earlier this month, Governor Gavin Newsom asked Californians to voluntarily cut water consumption by 15% compared to 2020 levels as our State’s drought worsens.

It is up to all of us to take simple actions to stretch supplies and protect our water reserves.

Below are some simple daily habits individuals, couples, and families can do to cut household water consumption by 15%.


When living alone, it’s hard to believe you can make a difference with your water consumption. But the average American uses 80 to 100 gallons of water a day. Incorporate these small changes in your lifestyle to make a big impact on your water use.  

  • Want to stay hydrated? Designate one glass for drinking water per day or use a refillable water bottle to reduce the number of dishes that need to be washed.
  • Don’t pour leftover water down the drain. Recycle it instead and water your plants.
  • A typical shower can waste 5 to 10 gallons of water per minute. Reduce your time spent in the shower and aim for a maximum of five minutes.


As a couple, your water consumption doubles and averages 160 to 200 gallons used per day. Work together as a team to tackle drought and hold each other accountable for your overall water consumption.

  • Keep a pitcher of drinking water in the fridge instead of running the tap until it gets cold. This helps reduce water waste while keeping you hydrated.
  • Make the switch to drip irrigation and water your plants more efficiently. Traditional sprinklers work by tossing water into the air which can lead to water loss through evaporation. Read our guide to installing a new sprinkler system and you’ll be an irrigation expert in no time.
  • Don’t use your toilet as a trash can. Flushing tissues and trash down the toilet can waste up to 6 gallons of water per flush.


According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the average American household uses more than 300 gallons of water a day, adding up to more than 110,000 gallons a year. Start educating your children about water conservation and how you can work together as a family to save water.

  • Calculate how much water you use at home with this calculator from the United States Geological Survey (USGS) as a starting point to see where you can reduce you water use.
  • Refrain from using the dishwasher and laundry machine until you have a full load. Not only does this help save water but energy, too.
  • Turn off the water while brushing your teeth can save up to 8 gallons of water per day. If all four members of your family brush their teeth twice a day, this simple switch can save almost 225 gallons a week.
  • Save up to $380 a year by replacing outdated appliances and fixtures with labeled WaterSense and ENERGY STAR certified products.