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Water Saving Tips

Conserve It, Preserve It, And Go With The Flow

Leading the Charge for Water Use Efficiency

The Calaveras County Water District is committed to promoting water use efficiency throughout all of its service areas. That’s why the District has an extensive educational and informational outreach program that provides customers and community members with the tools they need to make the best use of the precious natural resources Calaveras County has to offer.

Visit for additional information and tools on how to conserve water.

Water Saving Tips

Indoor Water Use

Water is essential to each of us every day. But it’s a limited resource, so we all need to rethink the way we use water on a daily basis. By following these water-saving tips inside your home, you can help save water every day.

Laundry Room 
  • Use the washing machine for full loads only to save water and energy.
  • Install a water-efficient clothes washer and save up to 16 gallons per load.
  • Washing dark clothes in cold water saves water and energy. It also helps your clothes retain their color.
  • Run the dishwasher only when full to save water and energy.
  • Install a water-and energy-efficient dishwasher. Save: 3 to 8 gallons per load.
  • Install aerators on the kitchen faucet to reduce flows to less than 1 gallon per minute.
  • When washing dishes by hand, don’t let the water run. Fill one basin with wash water and the other with rinse water.
  • Dishwashers typically use less water than washing dishes by hand.
  • If your dishwasher is new, cut back on rinsing. Newer models clean more thoroughly than older ones.
  • Soak pots and pans instead of letting the water run while you scrape them clean.
  • Use the garbage disposal sparingly. Instead, compost vegetable food waste and save gallons every time.
  • Wash your fruits and vegetables in a pan of water instead of running water from the tap.
  • Don’t use running water to thaw food. Defrost food in the refrigerator.
  • Keep a pitcher of drinking water in the refrigerator instead of running the tap.
  • Cook food in as little water as possible. This also helps it retain more nutrients.
  • Select the proper pan size for cooking. Large pans may require more cooking water than necessary.
  • If you accidentally drop ice cubes, don’t throw them in the sink. Drop them in a house plant instead.
  • Collect the water you use while rinsing fruit and vegetables. Use it to water house plants.
  • Install low-flow shower heads. Save: 2.5 gallons.
  • Take five-minute showers instead of 10-minute showers. Save: 12.5 gallons with a low-flow showerhead, 25 gallons with a standard 5 gallon-per-minute showerhead.
  • Fill the bathtub halfway or less. Save: 12 gallons.
  • When running a bath, plug the bathtub before turning on the water. Adjust the temperature as the tub fills.
  • Install aerators on bathroom faucets. Save: 1.2 gallons per person per day
  • Turn water off when brushing teeth or shaving. Save about 10 gallons per day
  • Install a high-efficiency toilet to save: 19 gallons per person per day. Take advantage of CCWD’s toilet rebate program here.
  • Don’t use the toilet as a wastebasket.
  • Be sure to test your toilet for leaks at least once a year.
  • Put food coloring in your toilet tank. If it seeps into the bowl without flushing, there’s a leak. Fix it and start saving gallons.
  • Consider buying a dual-flush toilet. It has two flush options: a half-flush for liquid waste and a full-flush for solid waste.
  • Plug the sink instead of running the water to rinse your razor and save up to 300 gallons a month.
  • Turn off the water while washing your hair and save up to 150 gallons a month.
  • When washing your hands, turn the water off while you lather.
  • Take a (short) shower instead of a bath. A bathtub can use up to 70 gallons of water.

Outdoor Water Use

Most Californians think that they use more water indoors than outdoors. Typically, the opposite is true. In some areas, 50 percent or more of the water we use daily goes on lawns and outdoor landscaping. There are lots of ways to save water at home, but reducing the water you use outdoors can make the biggest difference of all. Here are a few easy ways to change the way you use water outside your home.

Know the Basics 
  • Check your sprinkler system frequently and adjust sprinklers so only your lawn is watered and not the house, sidewalk or street. Save: up to 15 gallons each time you water
  • Choose a water-efficient irrigation system such as drip irrigation for your trees, shrubs, and flowers. Save: 15 gallons each time you water.
  • Consider letting your lawn fade from green to gold during this extreme drought.
  • Prioritize keeping trees and shrubs alive.
  • Water deeply but less frequently to create healthier and stronger landscapes.
  • Put a layer of mulch around trees and plants to reduce evaporation and keep the soil cool. Organic mulch also improves the soil and prevents weeds. Save: 20 to 30 gallons each time you water 1,000 square feet.
  • Plant drought-resistant trees and plants. Save: 30 to 60 gallons each time you water 1,000 square feet.
Don't Over Water 

One easy way to cut down how much water you use outdoors is to learn how much water your landscaping actually needs in order to thrive. Overwatering is one of the most common mistakes people make. To understand how much water your landscaping really needs, learn more about evaporation transpiration visit California Irrigation Management Systems website.
Also check with the Calaveras Master Gardeners for a free consultation. They are trained experts on drought-resistant plants and how to use water wisely. Contact them at 754-2880 or visit Calaveras County Master Gardeners.

Get Smart 

If you really want to be a sophisticated water user, invest in a weather-based irrigation controller – or a smart controller. These devices will automatically adjust the watering time and frequency based on soil moisture, rain, wind, and evaporation and transpiration rates. For more information on sprinklers, visit Save Our Water Sprinklers 101.

Outdoor Cleanup 

Water is often a go-to tool for outdoor clean-up jobs.

  • Use a broom or blower to clean driveways, sidewalks and patios. Save: 8 to 18 gallons per minute.
  • Wash cars and boats with a bucket, sponge and hose with self-closing nozzle. Save: 8 to 18 gallons per minute.


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