Go Dirty For the Drought and Other Tips To Help Conserve Water

Posted by Amoebite, November 5, 2014 06:40pm | Post a Comment

Dirty Car Pledge

California is experiencing the worst drought in recorded history. Help fight the drought by taking LA Waterkeeper's "Dirty Car Pledge" to not wash your car for 60 days. It saves water, money, and the static-cling car sticker they send you will save your image, too! Take the pledge now at

Here are some additional tips to help conserve water:


  • Replace all non-water saving showerheads with water-saving showerheads.
  • Turn off the water while brushing your teeth and save up to 3 gallons each time.
  • Turn off the water while you're shaving. Just fill the sink with a little water and rinse your razor. You can save up to 3 gallons.
  • Don't let the faucet run while you clean vegetables. Instead rinse them in a sink full of clean water.
  • If you wash dishes by hand, don't leave the water running for rinsing.
  • Replace your toilets if you can to high efficiency toilets.
  • Consider native and other drought-tolerant plants that need 2/3 less water.


  • Water your lawn deeply and less frequently. Avoid over watering and runoff.
  • Adjust sprinklers to water the lawn, not the pavement. 
  • Water early in the morning or late in the evening - avoid the hottest part of the day when evaporation is highest.
  • Change watering schedule seasonally.
  • Do not allow the hose to run as you wash your car. Use a self-closing hose nozzle, or turn off the water, between rinses.
  • Use a broom instead of the hose to sweep away dirt and leaves.
  • Lower the temperature on your water heater.
  • Wash only full loads of clothes or dishes.

1. New Sprinklers

  • Replace 25 pop-up fan-spray sprinkler nozzles with rotating “finger” stream nozzles
  • Rotating stream spray nozzles reduce misting, run off, and evaporation compared to standard fan-spray nozzles.

Gallons saved per year: 35,844. Cost savings per year: $288.

2. Pool Cover

  • Purchase and install a pool cover
  • Pool covers reduce water loss through evaporation
  • Helps maintain pool temperature in the cooler months to help save on gas heating

Gallons saved per year: 14,239. Cost savings per year: $114.

3. Turf Reduction

  • Remove turf and plant drought resistant landscape with drip water system
  • Changing from grass with sprinklers to drought tolerant shrubs with drip irrigation can save large amounts of water

Gallons saved per year: 10,997. Cost savings per year: $88.

4. Clothes Washer

  • Install new High Efficiency Clothes Washer (Water Factor 4.0 or less)
  • New High Efficiency Clothes Washers use as much as 50% less water than conventional top loader models
  • Make sure to use your clothes washer for full loads only. Older models use up to 60 gallons of water per load.

Gallons saved per year: 10,167. Cost savings per year: $82.

5. Fix Leaks

  • Average leak in household is 10,000 gallons per year
  • On average, leaks account for about 5% of the water usage in homes. Depending on the size of the leak, the percentage can be much higher.
  • Use food coloring to check for leaks in toilets. If the coloring begins to appear in the toilet bowl without flushing, you have a wasteful leak that should be repaired at once. When replacing the toilet flapper valve, make sure to select a model designed for your toilet.
  • Replace faucet washers in bathroom and/or kitchen faucets
  • Indication of leakage in irrigation include unexplained rise in your water bill, poor system performance, dry spots, soggy areas, overgrown areas of turf, and erosion.

Gallons saved per year: 10,000. Cost savings per year: $80.

6. Toilet Change-out

  • Install new High Efficiency Toilet (1.28 gallons per flush)
  • Pre-1994 toilets use 3.5 to 7 gallons per flush. Newer High-Efficiency Toilets use 1.28 gallons per flush or less.

Gallons saved per year: 8,016. Cost savings per year: $64.

7. Dishwasher

  • Buy a water efficient dishwasher
  • An efficient washer will not only save you water, but also on the gas or electricity it takes to heat the water.
  • Use your dishwasher for full loads only. Every load uses about 15 gallons.

Gallons saved per year: 1,248. Cost savings per year: $10.

8. Bathroom Faucet Aerator

  • Replace bathroom faucet aerator with a more efficient, low-flow one.
  • The aerator will regulate the flow of water from the sink faucet. They come in varying flows rated at gallons per minute.

Gallons saved per year: 913. Cost savings per year: $7.

9. Kitchen Faucet Aerator

  • Replace kitchen faucet aerator with a more efficient, low-flow one.
  • The aerator will regulate the flow of water from the kitchen faucet.

Gallons saved per year: 913. Cost savings per year: $7.

10. Bathtub Diverter Valve

  • Replace the tub diverter valve (routes water to the showerhead) if it leaks
  • The diverter valve redirects water from the tub spigot to the showerhead. Leaky diverter valves waste water.

Gallons saved per year: 365. Cost savings per year: $3.

The information provided is not intended as a recommendation of any particular product or company. Costs listed are estimates based on typical usage. Actual use may vary based on appliance size, make and model, frequency of use, and other factors.

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La Waterkeeper (1), California (15), Drought (1), Water Conservancy (1), Tips (1)