Water costs money. Why this is the case and whether this is right is a topic for a different discussion. But as long as it does, there are ways to spend less on it.
The Little Things
The simplest way to save money on water is to merely use less of it at every opportunity.
For example, if you’re washing your hands, keep the water off when your hands aren’t under the faucet. As a rule, only use water as you need it and turn it off when you don’t, even if that is only for a few seconds.
When you’re washing dishes, if you have a dishwasher, use it. A dishwasher cleaning an entire load of dishes uses less water per item than it would to wash them all separately under running water.
That said, wait until you have a full load of plates and utensils to use your dishwasher, as using it less frequently means using less water overall.
By the way, if you don’t have a dishwasher, scrape off all the waste you can before going to wash them; it gets the job done without running any water.
Like a dishwasher, waiting to use a washing machine until it’s at full capacity reduces its overall usage. You can also try different methods for cleaning your clothes, like presoaking your garments in still water rather than having the machine do it with much more water.
If you send the clothes through several cycles to get all the soap out, experiment with using less detergent in the first place and eliminating the second cycle.
The Extra Steps
With showers, many recommend simply taking shorter, quicker showers. While this is a perfectly good idea, if you’re very devoted to saving money, there’s more you can do.
Like washing your hands, a lot of saved water will add up if you turn it off every time you’re lathering up your hair or your body. For a more extreme measure, you could try cutting back on your overall showering.
This might come across as a social faux pas, but dermatologists insist many Americans shower too often, and this wreaks havoc on your skin. This one might be a tough decision, but now you know your options.
A lot of water is wasted when flushing a toilet, but there’s a little trick for reducing the amount of water used per flush.
If there’s space in your toilet’s tank, you can place a weighted water bottle in the tank, and since your tank only fills to a certain height, it won’t account for the displaced water.
You can also look for an adjustable toilet flapper that can restrict how much water gets used in each flush.
Keeping that in mind, some people out there wouldn’t care to hear that you have disposable plastic water bottles in your home, on the grounds that they’re wasteful and harmful to the environment.
It turns out, though, there’s a financial benefit to drinking tap water instead of bottled: it’s many times cheaper per volume.
Many jurisdictions have higher standards for tap water than bottled water, but for added security, you can buy faucet filters or filtering pitchers. If you want to drink it cold, just fill some reusable bottles or glasses and put them in the fridge for when you’re ready, or just add some ice cubes.
If you have a lawn to take care of, you know how much water that sucks up. But it might not consume as much if you watered it around sunrise or sunset when the sun won’t evaporate much of the moisture before the grass can even consume it.
For added water retention, cut your grass a little longer, as higher grass provides shade that blocks the sun out from the soil.
For the illusion of using the same amount of water as you always have, you can try aerators for your faucets, which add air to the water so the faucet uses less while maintaining the same level of water pressure. Just be sure to double check that you don’t already have one installed if your faucet is a newer model.
If your budget allows and your current appliances could stand to be relieved of their duty, don’t rule out looking into energy- and water-efficient models of dishwashers, washing machines, toilets and faucets.
This would very much be a long-term money-saving strategy, but if you choose the right models, you’ll see some serious results.
We all need water to live, but perhaps now you have a better understanding of exactly how much water we need. It turns out it’s not as much as you might have guessed.