Water Conservation Tips


  • Be a good conserver! Follow the watering times set in the year-round conservation ordinance.
  • Did you know that using a sprinkler that produces large drops of water at a low angle minimizes evaporation?
  • Don’t water during a thunderstorm! Rain sensors installation is required on your irrigation systems.
  • When you can, hand-water your lawn.
  • When planting, group plants together that have similar watering needs.
  • Try to use native South Texas plants that require little water and look great!
  • Save yourself some work! When landscaping the yard, use bricks, rocks, benches, gravel and decks whenever possible, instead of grass, to limit the amount of watering you will have to do.
  • Don’t water the streets, walkways or driveways.
  • Minimize re-filling pools by having them treated as recommended.


  • Toilets account for 26 percent of the water used at home. Minimize water used through toilet flushing by installing a low flow toilet that uses only 1.6 gallons per flush.
  • Test the toilet for leaks by adding food coloring to the tank. If color appears in the bowl, there is a leak that needs to be repaired. Remember, just because you can’t see it doesn’t mean that you don’t have a leak!
  • Use the hot water only when you have to; use cold water for as much washing and cleaning as possible.
  • Find yourself daydreaming at the sink? When brushing teeth or washing your hands, don’t leave the water running; instead turn it off while washing and then back on to rinse.
  • Install a low-flow shower head that will limit the flow from the shower to less than three gallons per minute.


  • Scrape dishes instead of rinsing them before washing. Only heavily soiled dishes need to be rinsed prior to going into the dishwasher.
  • Use a pan of water (or place a stopper in the sink) for washing and rinsing pots, pans, dishes and cooking implements, rather than turning on the water faucet each time a rinse is needed.
  • Never run the dishwasher without a full load. This practice will save water, energy, detergent and money.
  • Use the garbage disposal sparingly or a composter.
  • Keep a container of drinking water in the refrigerator. Running water from the tap until it is cool is wasteful. Better still: keeping cold water in a picnic jug on a kitchen counter to avoid opening the refrigerator door frequently. This can save both water and energy.
  • Use a small pan of cold water when cleaning vegetables, rather than letting the water run over them.
  • Use only a little water in the pot and put a lid on it for cooking most food. This method saves water, and food is more nutritious, since vitamins and minerals are not poured down the drain with the extra cooking water.
  • Always keep water conservation in mind, and think of other ways to save in the kitchen. Small kitchen savings-from not making too much coffee or letting ice cubes melt in a sink-can add up in a year’s time.

Laundry Room

  • Wash only full loads to save water and detergent.
  • Use the lower water settings whenever you can, especially on partial or lighter loads.
  • Use hot water settings only for loads that really need it.

Appliances and Plumbing

  • Check water requirements of various models and brands when considering purchasing any new appliances. Some use less water than others.
  • Check all water line connections and faucets for leaks. A slow drip can waste as much as 170 gallons of water EACH DAY, or 5,000 gallons per month.
  • Learn to repair faucets so that drips can be corrected promptly. The easy repair costs little and can mean a substantial savings in plumbing and water bills.
  • Check for hidden water leaks, such as between the water meter and the house. To check, turn off all indoor and outdoor faucets and water-using appliances. The water meter should be read at 10 to 20 minute intervals. If it continues to run or turn, a leak probably exists and needs to be located.
  • Insulate all hot water pipes to reduce the delays (and wasted water) experienced while waiting for the water to “run hot.”
  • Be sure the water heater thermostat is not set too high. Extremely hot settings waste water and energy because the water often has to be cooled with cold water before it can be used.
  • Use a moisture meter to determine when houseplants need water. More plants die from over-watering than from being dry.