Did you know that less than 1% of all the water on Earth can be used by people? The rest is salt water (the kind you find in the ocean) or is permanently frozen and we can't drink it, wash with it, or use it to water plants.
As our population grows, more and more people are using up this limited resource. Therefore, it is important that we use our water wisely and not waste it.
Just by turning off the tap while you brush your teeth in the morning and before bedtime, you can save up to 8 gallons of water! That adds up to more than 200 gallons a month, enough to fill a huge fish tank that holds 6 small sharks! The same is true when you wash dishes. Turn off the tap! Scrape your dirty dishes into the trash—then put them in the dishwasher.
Taking a shower uses much less water than filling up a bathtub. A shower only uses 10 to 25 gallons, while a bath takes up to 70 gallons! If you do take a bath, be sure to plug the drain right away and adjust the temperature as you fill the tub. To save even more water, keep your shower under five minutes long—try timing yourself with a clock next time you hop in!
Fixing a toilet leak is a great way to reduce household water use and boost water conservation. If your toilet has a leak, you could be wasting about 200 gallons of water every day. That would be like flushing your toilet more than 50 times for no reason! Try this experiment: ask your parents to help you test for leaks by placing a drop of food coloring in the toilet tank. If the color shows up in the bowl without flushing, you have a leak!
Watering your yard first thing in the morning is a great first step to water-efficient landscaping. Avoid watering your yard in the middle of the day. Watering when it's hot and sunny is wasteful because most of the water evaporates before the plants have time to drink it. Also, when you're helping your parents water the yard, make sure not to water the plants too much—remember that a little sprinkle goes a long way!
An easy way to save water is to use a bucket and sponge when washing cars and bikes. Washing your bike or car with a bucket and sponge instead of a hose saves a lot of water. A hose can waste 6 gallons per minute if you leave it running, but using a bucket and sponge only uses a few gallons! Also, some car washes recycle water instead of letting it run down the sewer drains. Ask your parents to check if a car wash near you recycles water.