There are generally two methods to conserve water:
- Use technology to increase the efficiency of water-use devices and tools. For example, upgrading a toilet that uses 5 gallons per flush (GPF) to one that uses 1.28 GPF
- Change behaviors to reduce water usage or minimize water waste. For example, take a 10-minute shower instead of a 20-minute shower.
This page will cover some water conservation tips across all water use activities.
- Finding and fixing leaks is one of the easiest ways to conserve water. Use this free, step-by-step Smart Home Water Guide to determine if you have a leak and isolate it. Want a physical copy of the book? Order it through the Free Literature Request form here.
- Use your water meter to determine if you have any unwanted water use inside of your home. Do to this, make sure you don’t have any water-using devices on in your home (like a washing machine or sprinklers), then look at your water meter. If the red dial on the face of the meter is spinning, you have water use occurring somewhere. Contact your local Arizona Water Company office for help with this process.
- Toilets are the biggest water-using device inside your home and they can waste anywhere from 5,000 to 40,000 gallons of water per month if not fixed. Identify toilet leaks by placing a drop of food coloring or toilet dye strips in the toilet tank. If any color shows up in the bowl after 10 minutes, you have a leak. Contact your local Arizona Water Company office for free dye strips.
- Need some help finding leaks in your toilet, pool, or service line? Check out these amazing video resources.
- Don’t ignore the small leaks! A leaky showerhead or faucet that drips at the rate of one drip per second can waste more than 250 gallons per month. That equates to over 3,000 gallons of water per year!
Indoor Conservation Tips
- Some easy ways to conserve water inside your home is to upgrade the efficiency of water-using devices. For example, add a faucet aerator to your bathroom sinks, replace your showerhead with a high-efficiency one, choose a high-efficiency washing machine or dishwasher, and replace a 5 gallon per flush toilet with a 1.28 gallon per flush toilet.
- Shorten your shower by a minute or two and you’ll save up to 150 gallons per month.
- When washing your hands or taking a shower, turn the water off while you lather.
- When washing dishes by hand, don’t let the water run. Fill one basin with wash water and the other with rinse water.
- Soak pots and pans instead of letting the water run while you scrape them clean.
- Only use your washing machine or dishwasher when you have a full load.
- Washing dark clothes in cold water saves water and energy, and helps your clothes retain their color.
- If you accidentally drop ice cubes, don’t throw them in the sink. Drop them in a house plant instead.
- Did you know some AC units drip water? There is a condensate drain line which essentially helps remove water that builds up because of humidity when an AC unit is running, especially in the summer. That water can be collected and then put on plants in your landscape!
Outdoor Conservation Tips
- Up to 70% of water use in an average residential home in Arizona is used outdoors for landscaping, pools, and other features. Make sure your water is being used well by updating your irrigation schedule monthly and repair leaks as soon as you notice them!
- Need a check-list to know what you're looking for when inspecting your irrigation system? Use page 16 on the free Landscape Watering By the Number Guide for help and guidance!
- Systems were developed to effectively water plants slowly and near the roots. This type of a system is supposed to reduce water waste and allow you to have more control over how much water your plants are getting – ideal for our desert environment!
- Do you have citrus in your yard? They can be tricky to water, but we recommend that you adopt the watering patterns that farmers used to have: water your citrus once a month in the winter and twice a month in the summer. When you water them, give one tree about 100 gallons of water, and put the water around the root zone of the tree. Use your water meter to determine when you have given 100 gallons of water to a tree.
- Have sprinklers? Make sure they are all pointing in the right direction and working properly before the bermuda grass starts coming back in the late spring. Also, make sure you have high efficiency spray nozzles and pressure regulating sprinkler bodies so that the water does not mist out and get blown away by any wind!
- Fall is the best time to add plants to your landscaping; why? Because it’s cooled down enough for yard work, but also because planting in the fall gives your plants enough time to settle in before the winter cold or the summer heat. Having a hard time deciding what would work well in your landscape? Look through the Plants for the Arizona Desert catalog and pick the perfect plant for your landscape!
- When digging a hole for your plant, make sure it is 3-5 times wider than the container of the plant, but no deeper than the root ball. Making the holder wider helps break up the soil and encourages the plant’s roots to grow outward. Making the hole too deep will cause the plant to sink and parts of the plant’s trunk will be buried that don't need to be in the ground. Fill the hole with water to get the surrounding soil moistened in preparation for planting.
Additional Outdoor and Indoor Conservation Information
Leak Help Video Series
These videos were created and produced by the Town of Gilbert’s Water Conservation program