Some scientists predict water shortages will be the most important challenge facing the world in the next decade. Due to factors including increasing population and use, as well as climate change, water is becoming an increasingly precious resource. Given these concerns, conserving water usage in the home is an important step to take.

1 Check your home for leaky faucets and toilets - Have the leaks repaired, or fix them yourself. Install low-flow faucet aerators and low-flow shower head in the bathroom to keep the water pressure high, but reduce your household water use by up to 170 litres a day.

2 Consider replacing older toilets with newer low-flush models - Toilets from 1992 or earlier, tend to be much less efficient, using at least three gallons of water per flush. Newer toilets are designed for efficiency, which use less than five litres per flush.

3 Make sure all your faucets are equipped with aerators - Check your showerhead. If your shower can fill up a four-litre bucket in less than 20 seconds, replace the shower head with a low-flow version.

4 If you water your lawn, consider installing a drip irrigation system. Water is delivered directly to the grass, so less is wasted due to wind and evaporation.

5 Turn off the water when brushing your teeth, shaving, or during other times when you are not actively using the water. Simply turning off the water during these times can save up to 30 litres of water per day.

6 Take showers instead of baths - A five-minute shower uses an average of 35 to 95 litres of water, versus nearly 265 litres to fill a bath.

7 Run full loads in the dishwasher and washing machine, or adjust the water level for smaller loads.

8 When washing dishes by hand, fill a dish pan with water rather than constantly running the faucet. Give each person in your household a designated glass, or reusable water bottle, so they don't grab a new glass each time, which also reduces the number of dishes you have to wash.

9 If you have to water your lawn or garden, do it in the morning or evening. Less water will be lost to evaporation when you avoid watering during the warmest and sunniest time of the day.

10 If you wash your car at home, park it on the lawn and recycle car wash water as irrigation for your lawn. Catch what you can. Place a bucket in the shower or under the rain spout, to collect water and use it to water your plants and lawn.


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