Using water efficient products and practices means making the most of the water you have, and the focus is on reducing waste but not restricting use. Being water efficient means repairing leaks, turning off the water while brushing teeth, and installing or retrofitting water efficient fixtures, such as low-flow faucets and toilets.
According to Low Impact Living, the U.S. uses, on average, 345 billion gallons of fresh water per day. To put this in perspective, using that much water everyday is enough to cover the state of Rhode Island in a foot of water. That's a lot of water.
This kind of demand has stressed supply and distribution systems to the point that 36 states—and possibly more—anticipate some degree of water shortage, within the next five years, according the U.S. Geological Survey.
Because we need water for virtually everything we do, making water-efficient choices is crucial. Further, using more than we need not only leads to shortages, it also contributes to pollution. Water that runs over the ground draws pollutants along with it that contaminate groundwater—decreasing usable supplies and increasing treatment costs.
Individuals—homeowners, people renovating a house or building one—and communities can use the following articles, products, and resources to help them make informed decisions about water efficiency.