What does water conservation have to do with energy conservation? Quite a bit, as a matter of fact. Our national water supply and treatment facilities consume about 56 billion kilowatt-hours annually — which is enough electricity to power more than 5 million homes for an entire year! And besides water and electricity, we're also wasting money. For example, if you just made a few simple changes and started to use your water more efficiently, you could save close to 34% on your water and sewer bill.

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1. Conserve at the Sink

Did you know that letting your faucet run for 5 minutes uses as much energy as leaving a 60-watt light bulb on for 14 hours? Switch to new faucet aerators and you'll see a big difference. A kitchen faucet only needs a flow rate of 1 to 1.5 gpm (gallons per minute) and a bathroom faucet only needs .5 to 1.0 gpm.

2. Conserve in the Shower

Over 17% of our indoor water use can be directly linked to showers. This adds up to 1.2 trillion gallons of water each year across the nation. Some older showerheads have flow rates of 5.5 gallons per minute, while newer water conservation products aim for less than half that rate - and get you just as clean.

3. Conserve with Your Toilets

If you think that showers and baths use up most of the water in a household, think again. Toilets are by far the biggest water consumers and account for nearly 30% of our total water usage. One of the ways to conserve water is to switch from older toilets that use as much as 7 gallons per flush to newer ones that use only 1.6 gallons.

4. Conserve in the Garden

Water conservation isn't just an indoor issue. We're wasting outdoors as well. In fact, there are about 13.5 million watering and sprinkler systems installed across the nation — and that's just for residential lawns and gardens. Standard clock timers aren't enough anymore. The new, more efficient water conservation products are weather-based controllers that use weather and landscape conditions to customize watering schedules.

5. Conserve in Your Driveway

It seems logical that you could save the most water by washing your car yourself. But now some car washes recycle their water, which conserves even more. If you do wash your car yourself, make sure you use the bucket and sponge method — because a running hose can waste a gallon every 10 seconds!