The average Floridian uses 175 gallons of water each day -- about 65 more gallons per day than the average American.

What do you do with your 65 extra gallons? Do you drink more, do more laundry, wash your car more, water your lawn more? The answer is all of the above, plus a myriad of other reasons related to our warm climate.

Here's the irony: surveys show that 80 percent of Floridians believe water conservation is critical. Yet they continue to use nearly three gallons of water per hour more than the average American. So here's what to do: realize that conservation is vital if there is going to be enough fresh water for everyone's future and then think about that 65 gallons. Here are some easy ways to save it. The gallon estimates are based on two-person families.

INDOOR WATER CONSERVATION

  • Install a low-flow toilet or tank water saving device and save as much as five gallons of water a day.

  • Install a low-flow showerhead and save as much as 86 gallons of water a day.

  • Install a sink aerator and save eight gallons of water a day.

  • Turn off the faucet while you brush your teeth and save four to 10 gallons of water a day.

  • Fix your leaky faucet and save as much as seven gallons of water a day.

  • Only run your washing machine and dishwasher when they are full. You can save as much as 15 gallons per load for the dishwasher and 55 gallons per load for the washing machine.

OUTDOOR WATER CONSERVATION

  • Don't water your lawn for more than a half-hour at a time or 45 minutes once a week - and only if it doesn't rain at least one inch. Water in the cooler hours, before 9 a.m. or after 6 p.m. If your water management district has water restrictions in place, make sure you follow them.

  • Protect natural landscape moisture by cutting your grass at the highest setting (up to 3 inches) on your mower. Taller grass protects the root system by helping to shade it.

  • Rake or sweep driveways and sidewalks instead of hosing it off.

  • Build dikes around trees and shrubs to hold water.

  • Floriscape your yard by using drought and salt tolerant plants which are native to Florida.


    * Water savings based on a two-person household.

Copyright The Water Conservation School, 2004.