Calculate and Reduce Your Household Water Consumption

by Rachel Laurendeau on February 26, 2013

It’s easy in our instant society to take fresh potable water for granted. In fact, very few of us have the slightest idea of how much water we use on a daily basis. Calculating your water consumption and then making simple changes to reduce it is one way to make your home more environmentally friendly.

While you could spend hours pouring over your water utility bills and staring at your water meter trying to figure out how much water you’re using, there is a simpler way. There are a number of online calculators to help you figure out your water consumption. This one from the Southwest Florida Water Management District is very simple to use and allows you to calculate the entire household water consumption or break it down into individual use. It also allows you to plug in the exact numbers from your appliances, if you know them, which means a more accurate calculation.

Of course, there is no point in calculating your consumption if you don’t follow it up by taking steps to reduce your water consumption. Here are a just few ideas to help you get started:

Rain barrels – using rainwater that is collected and stored in rain barrels is an excellent way to cut back on the well water or municipal water that you use for garden and lawn care.

Xeriscaping – design your garden around the principles of xeriscaping by including native plants, mulching, improving your soil, reducing your lawn area and using efficient irrigation.

Check your system – If you are operating a personal well rather than using municipal water, be sure that the system is operating optimally. If your submersible pump, water tanks or other parts of the system are leaking or aren’t working efficiently, you could be wasting a lot of water without even knowing it.

Make the switch – update your old plumbing fixtures and water hungry appliances so that you are using low-flow fixtures or WaterSense labeled products.

Look into incentives and rebates – many utility boards, counties and federal programs offer grants, rebates, tax credits and other incentives to help you take the steps to creating a more environmentally sustainable home.

While calculating your household water consumption may not seem like much of a home improvement project, taking the steps to reduce your family’s consumption is an improvement by anyone’s definition.

A few related blogs: Customizing Your Well Water System To Meet Your Needs, Rain Barrels, Xeriscaping, and Simple Ways To Green Your Bathroom.

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