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Water Efficiency We waste water and money.
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It’s up to all of us to conserve water.

Water covers about 71 percent of the Earth’s surface, but only 3 percent of the world’s water is fresh water. Only 1 percent is available for drinking water.

Around the world, as people use more and more water daily, many areas are now reaching the limits of their supply.

Unfortunately, there will never be “new” water. The water that was around during the dinosaur era is the same water that we use today and will be used in the future.

So it’s urgent that we conserve and protect our water supply.

We waste water and money.

Consider these facts about water use in the United States:

  • Between 1950 and 2000, as our population nearly doubled, public demand for water more than tripled. Americans now use an average of 100 gallons of water per person each day — mostly in the home. That’s enough to fill 1,600 drinking glasses.
  • American households use an average of about 107,000 gallons of water each year.
  • One-half to two-thirds of the water used by Americans at home is used to water lawns and gardens, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
  • About 14 percent of the water used in our homes is wasted — it leaks down the drain, says the EPA.
  • The average household spends as much as $500 per year on its water and sewer bill. A few simple changes could save you about $170 per year.
  • If all U.S. households installed water-efficient appliances, the country would save more than 3 trillion gallons of water and more than $18 billion dollars per year.

When we use water more efficiently, we reduce the need for costly water supply infrastructure investments and new wastewater treatment facilities.

We also save energy. For example, letting your faucet run for five minutes uses about as much energy as burning a 60-watt light bulb for 14 hours.

Recent droughts in South Carolina and an ever increasing demand for clean, fresh water have made people think seriously about conserving water.

There are many ways to reduce daily water use:

  • Stop leaks.
  • Replace old toilets with models that use 1.6 gallons or less per flush.
  • Replace old clothes washers with EPA Energy Star-certified models.
  • Plant a lawn or garden that requires less water.
  • Provide only the water plants need.

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Use WaterSense.

DHEC has joined with the EPA’s WaterSense program to tell you about products that save water in the home and office. Many water-saving products are available and they don’t change the way you live or do business. Look for the WaterSense label on bathroom and lawn products.

Also, consider using a WaterSense irrigation partner for your landscape watering system.

Frequently Asked Questions

Answers to frequently asked questions about drinking water are available. Also, get the facts on water conservation from DHEC's Bureau of Water .

This information can help you reduce your water bill and protect water resources. Give us a call at (803) 898-3542.

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This page was last updated on December 4, 2012.