Saving Water Indoors

If every household in Los Altos (a total of 10,000 households) replaced a 3.5 gallon per flush toilet with a 1.6 gallon per flush toilet, then for 2 flushes per day the city would save 38,000 gallons per day or 13.8 million gallons per year.

Top 10 Ways to Save Waters Indoors

  1. Get a "Water Wise House Call" from the Santa Clara Valley Water District, if you have not already. A trained specialist will come to your house and identify ways of conserving water, both indoor and outdoor. The specialist will also identify if you have any leaks in your residential water system.
  2. Upgrade your water-using fixtures and appliances: If you have not remodeled recently, see if you can replace inefficient fixtures and appliances, such as toilets, washers, shower heads, faucet aerators, etc. The Santa Clara Valley Water District offers rebates.
  3. Fix Leaks: Leaky faucets can waste up to 20 gallons per day
  4. Shower Smarter: Make sure your shower has a low-flow shower head, which can save 15 gallons per shower. If you do have a low-flow shower head (2.5 - 3 gallons per minute), take shorter showers. You can save up to 3 gallons for each minute fewer that you shower.
  5. Wash only full loads of laundry: Save 15 to 50 gallons per load.
  6. Carefully cook and hand wash dishes. Lots of water can be wasted while cleaning vegetables. When it comes to cleanup, the dishwasher is usually more water efficient than hand washing dishes. When you do hand wash, run the water only when you need to rinse a pot or dish.
  7. Avoid running the water while you wait for it to get hot: Install a tankless hot water heater or an on-demand pump; or capture the cold tap water until it turns hot and then use this water on the garden.
  8. Turn off the water when you brush your teeth or shave: Save 3+ gallons per day.
  9. Roughly 1.5 million gallons of water are needed to produce the food consumed each year by the average US resident. Conserve water through the foods you eat; choose less meat and more whole grains (you could save more water by skipping a pound of beef than by taking shorter showers for a year).
  10. Flush less. Each flush uses 1.6 gallons or more.