Water Conservation is Everyone's Responsibility

When it comes to water conservation, the message is as simple: Every drop counts. And helping to conserve, one drip or drop at a time, could save something much bigger — our planet. You've heard it all before — the myriad reasons why conserving water helps everyone and everything thrive. But have you heard about how much water is wasted?

Here are some shocking revelations:

A Washington Post story cited that one trillion gallons of water are wasted by Americans each year. The culprits are anything from leaks to unintentional waste. Do you know how much good one trillion gallons of water could do? For one, it could cure a major drought.

Here are more factoids about water waste that may surprise you:

• According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), 10,000 gallons of water are wasted every year in the average household due to leaks from worn toilet flappers, dripping faucets, and other valves.

• A leaky faucet can waste more than 3,000 gallons of water a year, the EPA says.

• A shower leaking at 10 drips per minute wastes more than 5,000 gallons per year, according to EPA stats.

• On average, a leaky toilet can waste more than 6,000 gallons of water per month.

• Watering the lawn and plants can really drain the supply, too.

Ouch, right? Well, the good news is that was the bad news. There are many easy ways to remedy the problem and quench your thirst for both saving the earth and your wallet.

Here are some simple and some unique ways to save water:

On watering plants: Consider installing a rain barrel to harvest rainwater. It's natural, it's easy, it helps, and it works. Also, water outdoor plants in the morning. Less water will be lost to evaporation in the sun.

Conserve on electric usage: Did you know that water is used to cool power plants? Cutting down on using power cuts down on water usage.

Only run washing machines or dishwashers when they're full: Running them at even half capacity wastes gallons of water.

Don't keep the tap water running when you're brushing your teeth, washing hands, or doing dishes: About three gallons of water comes out of a running faucet per minute.

Use bottled water for drinking: It's more conservation-friendly because you don't run the faucet all day to stay hydrated, and it's better for you. Bottled water's source is always cited. It usually comes from a spring and is a better solution for your hydration and health than tap water. Better yet, enjoy the convenience of water delivered right to your home.

And just fix leaks: Many leaks are easy fixes, such as a washer on a faucet or a running toilet. It will save you and the Earth a lot.

It all amounts to much more than a drop in any bucket. Water conservation is a hassle-free solution to higher bills and helps you keep it green in your household.