Two hundred and seventy billion gallons of water. It’s enough to fill 40 million Olympic-sized swimming pools. It’s also how much water would be saved if every home in the U.S. installed a new model dishwasher.
What are you doing to save water? It’s a great question to ask yourself on World Water Day, March 22 which the United Nations established in 1992 to shine a spotlight on conservation, sustainability and other water-related issues. Odds are your dishwasher and clothes washer are already helping you save serious amounts of water. Both are helping consumers cut back on their water use. Here’s how:
- Washers are doing more with less. Clothes washers purchased today hold 20 percent more laundry than they did in 2000, yet they use even less water. The maximum water consumption per cycle for all types of washers (both front- and top-load) fell 35 percent between 2005 and 2014, from 35.7 gallons in 2005 to 21.6 gallons. The minimum water use per cycle also fell significantly during the same period, from 20.2 gallons to 12.2 gallons—a 39 percent drop.
- Dishwashers are running near the minimum. The average amount of water used in a normal dishwashing cycle is down more than 41 percent since 2005. A new ENERGY STAR-certified dishwasher can save an average of 1,600 gallons of water a year compared to 1994 models.
- Less water + greater efficiency = lower bills. Even clothes washers of average efficiency can save your household more than 5,000 gallons of water a year and more than $150 in utility costs compared to the washers of a decade ago.
New appliances are just one of the steps you can take to cut back on your water use. Here are a few more water-saving tips from the EPA:
- Check for and repair any leaks in appliances, toilets, and other water-using devices in your home.
- Don’t rinse the dishes. There’s no need to rinse your dishes in the sink before putting them into the dishwasher. Scrape them, and let the dishwasher do the rest.
- Do full loads of laundry, or select the appropriate water level for the size of the load you’re washing.
- Don’t use water to defrost. Instead, thaw frozen foods overnight in a refrigerator.
- Keep cool wat