There are many different ways for you to reduce the amount of water you are using. Some strategies may require an up-front investment, such as replacing water fixtures, but will save you money in the long run. Other strategies don’t cost anything—all they require is a positive attitude and a commitment to make changes in the ways you use water. Either way, you will be making a positive impact on the sustainability of our water resources, and saving money!
Conduct a home water audit. Collecting information about how you currently use water is a great starting point. Look at how much water you use each month (information can be found on your water bill) and keep a water-use diary where you record how you use water (for example, one 15-minute shower each day). Review the information and develop strategies for reducing your water use.
Tucson Water’s Zanjero Program: provides free home water audits.
The Zanjero Program is a water conservation program to help residential customers manage their water use. This free service offers customers an individualized survey of the water use in their home, and provides them with the tools and information they need to lower their water use and their water bills. This is a great way to find out how you are using water and what you can do to reduce your water consumption.
Homeowner’s Guide to Using Water Wisely from Tucson Water
How much water do you use? For practical ways you can conserve water and save money, too, check out this guide.
Visit Tucson Water’s Water Conservation page for more information and resources.
Review information including water-saving technologies, outdoor water conservation, and water conservation legislation.
Turn off the water while brushing your teeth, shaving, or washing your face.Turning off the faucet can save between 10 and 20 gallons of water per person per week.
Take shorter showers. Showers and baths consume about 18% of the water used indoors. Keep them short and sweet to save water. Reducing the length of your shower by just one minute could save you up to 1,825 gallons of water each year.
Only run the washing machine and dishwasher when you have a full load. These appliances function more efficiently when they run with full loads. You will also reduce the number of times you run the washing machine and dishwasher when you wait until you have a full load.
Repair dripping faucets and leaky toilets. A faucet dripping at the rate of one drop per second wastes 2,700 gallons per year. A leaky toilet wastes more than 50 gallons of water per day. To check for a leak, put 3 drops of food coloring into the tank and wait a half-hour. If you see the color in the bowl, repair or replace the flapper valve. (Don’t forget to flush the colored water to avoid stains)
Use native and drought tolerant plants for landscaping. Native plants are adapted to our desert climate and do not need much water. Using native plants will also help integrate your home with our beautiful desert surroundings.
• Arizona Department of Water Resources plant list for the Tucson Active Management Area.
• If you are a Tucson Electric Power (TEP) customer, you may purchase 2 native trees for $8 each through the Trees for Tucson program.
• WaterSmart Workshop Schedule. WaterSmart classes teach homeowners the basics of landscape water conservation through informative workshops based on the principles of xeriscape. Approximately 500 residents of Tucson and surrounding areas attend classes each year to learn techniques and applications for water-efficient landscaping compatible with the urban desert landscape.
Outdoor Landscaping Tips:
• Water Waste Ordinance Since 1984, it has been illegal in Tucson to allow water to escape from private property onto another person's property or onto public property such as alleys and streets. The water waste and tampering ordinance reinforces the message that it is unethical as well as unlawful to waste water in Tucson.
Install low water-use fixtures and appliances. You use more water in the bathroom than in all of the other rooms in your home combined! About 11% of your household water use occurs in the kitchen. Low-flow fixtures in bathrooms and kitchens can reduce the flow of water by 50%!
Visit the EPA’s WaterSense website for a listing of water efficient appliances and fixtures. Look for the WaterSense label to choose quality, water-efficient products.
Faucets- The faucets in your bathroom sinks generally use about 2.5 gallons of water per minute (gpm). Installing a faucet aerator is a simple and inexpensive way to reduce water use in the bathroom. Faucet aerators reduce output from 2.5 gpm to 1.5 gpm! This is a savings of about 40%!
Toilets- If your home is older than 1992*, chances are your toilets use between 3.5 and 5 gallons of water per flush. Some older toilet models even use as much as 7 gallons per flush! Newer toilets use no more than 1.6 gallons per flush, a big savings! Consider installing dual-flush toilets. These toilets provide two flushing options: low at 1.6 gallons and ultra-low at 0.9 gallons!
Showerheads- If your home was built before 1992*, chances are your showerheads put out about 5 gallons of water per minute (gpm). Multiply this by the number of minutes you're in the shower, and the water adds up fast! For example, 5 gpm x 10 min = 50 gallons. Install a low-flow shower head and save 50% or more of the water you are currently using.
Dishwashers- The dishwasher is one of the biggest water users in the kitchen. A typical dishwasher uses about 25 gallons of water per load. However, some of the newer, more energy- and water-efficient models use as little as 13 gallons of water per load.
Washing Machines- Keep in mind that laundry uses 22% of all water in your home! In order to maximize the efficiency of your laundry, only do full loads. Newer models are more energy- and water-efficient than ever. Horizontal-axis (or front loading) washing machines use about half the water of conventional washing machines and have been found to clean clothes better than standard models.
*In 1992, the U.S. Congress passed water conservation legislation prohibiting the construction of certain high-flow plumbing fixtures.