What Are Different Ways That People Waste Water?

Many people don't think about how much water they waste on a daily basis. You can help conserve water by using it wisely and paying attention to how you use water, and how often. Notice what you do every day that wastes water, and try to alter your habits and lifestyle to save more water than you use.

Eliminate your wasteful water habits. (Image: Digital Vision./Photodisc/Getty Images)


If you shower longer than 5 minutes, you're wasting 5 to 10 gallons of water every extra minute, according to EarthEasy.com, a website dedicated to green living and water conservation. Save water by installing a low-flow shower head, and aim for faster showers. To save more water, shave at the sink. Cutting shower time by just 1 or 2 minutes can save up to 150 gallons of water a month, according to the Water Use It Wisely website.

Yard Work

Don't pull out the hose for yard work when you don't really need to--you could be wasting hundreds of gallons of water every week. Instead of hosing down the patio, driveway and sidewalk, sweep them instead. Sure, it takes more time, but you'll also get more exercise and burn some calories. When washing a car, rinse the car, then turn off the hose while you soap the car down. People who leave their hoses running can waste up to 150 gallons of water, according to EarthEasy.com. A homeowner who neglects to regularly replace rubber gaskets in outdoor faucets can waste hundreds of gallons of water through leaky water faucets, and their water bills increase, too.

Down the Drain

Leaving the water on while you brush our teeth can waste up to 4 gallons of water, according to Chelsea Green, a website dedicated to sustainable living. The same goes for water wasted by leaving the water running while shaving. For shaving, fill the sink 1/4 full, and use that water for rinsing the razor. If you often do small or half-loads of laundry, you can waste up to 1,000 gallons of water a month, according to Water Use It Wisely.


Your toilet could be flushing away up to 5 gallons of water every time you flush. Americans tend to flush every time the toilet is used, which can waste hundreds of gallons a week. If it's just urine, flush every two or three times to save water. Leaky tank valves draining water into the toilet waste up to 1,000 gallons of water a month. Don't ignore a leaky toilet. Fix it.

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