Water Efficiency

Do you know what to look for to avoid potential health hazards?

Check the Label

  • Look for the EPA’s WaterSense label

  • Choose Energy Star appliances

Do’s & Don’ts

  • Don’t forget to be mindful of how much water you use—and waste.

    The demand for more water—a finite resource – requires more energy to pump, treat and heat it, which increases air pollution and contributes to climate change.

  • Look for water-efficient toilets, showerheads and faucets with the Environmental Protection Agency’s WaterSense label.

    These certified products use at least 20 percent less water than most other products. A family of four using WaterSense-labeled toilets, showerheads and faucets can save about 16,600 gallons of water a year.

  • To find the most water-efficient dishwashers and clothes washers, look for the EPA and Department of Energy’s Energy Star label.

    Energy Star dishwashers are 15 percent more efficient than standard models, and Energy Star washing machines are about 40 percent more efficient.

  • To help you decide if you should upgrade your appliances, visit www.energystar.gov/productfinder/. Remember to factor in how frequently you use each appliance when determining the potential savings.

Water Saving Tips

In recent years, many parts of the U.S. have suffered from moderate to severe drought conditions. Scientists predict that climate change will continue to increase the frequency and severity of droughts. Some of the nation's fastest-growing cities are in regions where water has often been scarce. Saving water has always been important, but is even more critical today.

The first step toward water conservation is being aware of how much you're using—and wasting. The EPA estimates the average American family of four uses more than 300 gallons of water a day. To figure how much water your family uses and see where you can save, visit www.watercalculator.org.

Keep in mind that even small changes can add up to big savings. Cutting your shower time by just two minutes every day can save more than 1,500 gallons per year. Installing water-efficient appliances and fixtures can save a lot of water and money as well. Here are our tips by room:


  • Toilets typically use the most water in the bathroom. If you need to replace an old toilet, look for WaterSense-certified models, which use only 1.28 gallons per flush, compared to older toilets that use 3.5 to 7 gallons.
  • Current shower heads models use half as much water as those made before 1994. WaterSense models use even less water than standard models—only 2 gallons a minute. If your shower fills a gallon bucket in less than 20 seconds, replace the shower head.
  • Switch from an aerated shower head to a laminar-flow shower head, which saves energy by maintaining the temperature of the water as it comes out.
  • Use a shower timer and try to shower in five minutes or less.
  • WaterSense bathroom faucets reduce flow by 30 percent without diminishing performance. This can save up to 700 gallons per year, per faucet.
  • Promptly fix leaky faucets to minimize water waste.


  • If you have a dishwasher, use it fully loaded instead of hand-washing dishes in the sink. Hand-washing dishes can use up to 20 gallons of water, but an efficient dishwasher can use less than a quarter of that amount.
  • If hand-washing, soak dishes first instead of relying on water pressure to get them clean.
  • Install a low-flow faucet, which can use as little as 1.5 gallons a minute.


  • If you have a top-loading washing machine that is more than 10 years old, consider upgrading. Front-loading machines hold 30 percent more clothes since there’s no agitator, and use remarkably less water and energy.
  • Wash only full loads of laundry and try to wash most loads in cold water. The biggest cost associated with washing clothes is heating the water.


  1. Mary Farrell, New Water Saving Toilets That Don’t Skimp On Performance. Consumer Reports, 2012. Available atwww.consumerreports.org/cro/news/2012/02/new-water-saving-toilets-that-don-t-skimp-on-performance/index.htm
  2. Grace Communications Foundation, How to Save Water. Available at www.gracelinks.org/1297/how-to-save-water
  3. Grace Communications Foundation, Water Calculators Around the Web. Available atwww.gracelinks.org/384/water-calculators-around-the-web
  4. Martin Holladay, All About Dishwashers. Green Building Advisor, 2013. Available at www.greenbuildingadvisor.com/blogs/dept/musings/all-about-dishwashers
  5. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Water-Energy Connection. Available atwww3.epa.gov/region9/waterinfrastructure/waterenergy.html
  6. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, WaterSense, Water Use Today. Available atwww3.epa.gov/watersense/our_water/water_use_today.html
  7. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, WaterSense, Saving Water in California. 2015. Available atwww.epa.gov/sites/production/files/2017-02/documents/ws-ourwater-california-state-fact-sheet.pdf
  8. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, The WaterSense Label. Available at www.epa.gov/watersense/watersense-label
  9. Energy Star, Clothes Washers. Available at www.energystar.gov/products/appliances/clothes_washers
  10. Energy Star, Dishwashers. Available at www.energystar.gov/products/appliances/dishwashers

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