Water Audits: Protect Natural Resources from the Comfort of Your Own Home
Want to get started on a household water audit? See our Household Water Audit Guide and Worksheet
Freshwater is always at our fingertips. Water comes to us readily available when we take a shower, wash our dishes and clothes, and when we need a drink. All it takes is the turn of a handle or the press of a button and water appears. But this instant availability can make it easy to forget that water is a limited resource. In fact, only .5 percent of the world’s water is drinkable.
But protecting this precious resource doesn’t require much — you don’t even have to leave your house! And by conserving water, you’re not only protecting our water resources but are also protecting habitats, reducing the amount of fossil fuels used for processing our water, and even saving money. The best place to start in your endeavor to conserve water? Conduct a household water audit.
What is a household water audit?
A water audit is a fancy way of describing the process of keeping track of how much water you use in your home. It simply involves looking at the various ways you and your family use water. By doing things like checking your water bill, looking at how much water your dishwasher and washing machine use, and checking for leaks, you can determine how much water your family uses. It can be fun too! It’s a great opportunity to get kids involved in learning about where their water comes from. Make a game of it — call it a water scavenger hunt! Have your kids help you complete our Water Audit Worksheet that’s included in our Household Water Audit Guide and Worksheet.
How do you conduct a water audit?
A water audit consists of four main steps:
- Figure out how much water you currently use in total. This involves checking your water bill or looking at your water meter.
- Determine how much water each household appliance uses. There are a few simple ways to measure the water efficiency of your appliance. See our worksheet for more information.
- Check for leaks. By checking your water meter and looking at your pipes and toilet, you can discover if you have any leaks.
- Make a plan for conserving water. There are many ways to conserve water, and at this last step you can take measures to protect our water. Take shorter showers, invest in more water-efficient appliances, or fix leaks. There are many strategies to reducing your household water use.
Research has shown that you can reduce the amount of water you use by 20 to 40 percent without drastically changing your lifestyle. Take the first step towards water efficiency by completing a water audit in your home. See our Household Water Audit Guide and Worksheet to start conserving water today!