Madison Water Utility led an effort to develop a comprehensive water conservation program for the city. Our Water Conservation and Sustainability Plan (PDF) looks at a variety of things the city and its residents and businesses can do to reduce our impact on the water resources that help make Madison such a great place to live, work and play.
Where your water goes
Toilets alone can account for 28% of a family's indoor water use. In the early 1990s, that number was over 40%. But thanks to initiatives like our Toilet Rebate Program, people are upgrading to more efficient fixtures and appliances.
IS THERE A LEAK?
In 2011, Madison Water Utility caught 652 customer leaks representing more than 76 million gallons of water pumped from the local aquifer. Our Project H2O Advanced Metering Infrastructure (AMI) system will help us spot even more residential leaks and eliminate waste.
Any water-using device or pipe connection can leak. There is usually some evidence of such problems, but the evidence isn't always obvious: A toilet leak can be noisy but it can also be rather quiet; a dripping faucet can be overlooked.
- According to the EPA, more than 1 trillion gallons of water leak from U.S. homes each year — equivalent to the annual water use of Los Angeles, Miami and Chicago combined.
- At one drop a second, a leaky faucet can waste more than 3000 gallons of water in a year.
- A running toilet can waste 200 gallons of water a day.
QUICK CONSERVATION TIPS
- Install water-saving devices: Aerators for kitchen and bath taps, flow regulators for shower heads and toilet tanks, and high-efficiency toilets to reduce the amount of water used in every flush.
- Use automatic shutoff attachments on hoses, and don't let the water run unnecessarily while washing the car or for other outdoor uses.
- Use the most efficient settings for dishwashers and clothes washing machines. Full loads are often the most efficient. When it's time to replace appliances, consider water efficiency in your choice.
- Think of practices and habits that might be changed to make a difference. Can showers be shorter? Sidewalk and driveway swept rather than hosed?