Water Conservation

The Need for Conservation

Marylanders have access to an abundance of water much of the time, and we’re accustomed to having water available at the twist of a faucet. U.S. citizens use approximately 205 billion gallons of water a day for household, industrial and agricultural uses. Unlike the dry western areas of the country, in this area we often overlook the importance of conserving water. As our population continues to grow, however, demands on our precious water resources will increase. In order to ensure adequate water resources for our future needs, we must put conservation measures into effect now.


Practicing water conservation on a regular basis can prevent or postpone the building of new water supply infrastructure. When utilities are able to reduce demand, they can frequently extend the life of existing infrastructure, saving their consumers the cost of building or renovating. Conservation can also reduce the amount of water that needs to be processed by wastewater treatment plants, again preserving infrastructure and also reducing the amount of waste discharged to streams and rivers. Finally, sound water use practices can make us more resilient during times of drought, negating the need for mandatory interventions.

 Related Resources

Water-Saving Tips

  1. Water Fixtures
  2. Household
  3. Outdoor
  4. Swimming Pools
  5. Car Washes

Retrofit or Replace Water Fixtures

Water-saving devices are economical and permanent. Low-flow shower heads and faucet aerators save valuable water and energy used to heat water without requiring changes in personal water use habits. The following chart highlights how much water can be conserved by installing water-saving equipment in place of conventional plumbing fixtures, fittings and appliances.

Fixture / Appliance
Water Use (gallons)Water -Saving
Fixture / Appliance
Water Use (gallons)Water Savings (gallons)
Conventional toilet**3.5 per flushLow-consumption toilet***1.6 per flush1.9 gallons per flush
Conventional shower head3 to 10 per minuteLow-flow shower head2 to 2.5 per minute0.5 to 8 per minute
Faucet aerator*3 to 6 per minuteFlow-regulating aerator0.5 to 2.5 per minute0.5 to 5.5 per minute
Top-loading washer40 to 55 per loadFront-loading washer22 to 25 per load15 to 33 per load
Vintage toilet*4 to 6 per flushLow-consumption toilet***1.6 per flush1.9 gallons per flush

*Manufactured before 1978
**Manufactured from 1978-1993
***Manufactured since January 1, 1994

Repair All Leaks
A dripping faucet is more than annoying; it is expensive. Even small leaks can waste significant amounts of water. Hot water leaks are a waste of water and of the energy used to heat the water. Leaks inside the toilet can waste up to 200 gallons of water a day. Toilet leaks can be detected by adding a few drops of food coloring to water in the toilet tank. If the colored water appears in the bowl, the toilet is leaking.

If you have a leaking faucet or toilet, stop pouring money down the drain, and repair it.