How You Can Help

Water Conservation Tips


  • Run the dishwasher only when full. (2–4.5 gallons per load Turn off water when rinsing dishes. (2.5 gallons per minute)
  • Turn off water when brushing teeth. (2 gallons per minute)
  • Shorten showers. (2.5 gallons per minute)
  • Fill the bathtub half full while bathing (15–25 gallons per bath)
  • Don’t use the toilet as a wastebasket. (1.6 gallons per flush)
  • Wash only full loads of clothes. (15–50 gallons per load)
  • Fix leaky toilets. (30–50 gallons per day per toilet)
  • Fix leaky faucets. (15–20 gallons per day per leak)
  • Install aerators with flow restrictors on kitchen/bathroom faucets. (4.7 gallons per day)

Landscape Irrigation

  • Water only before 6 AM and after 8 PM to reduce evaporation and interference from wind. (20–25 gallons per day)
  • Don’t overwater! (15–25 gallons for each minute; up to 250 gallons per cycle)
  • Reduce each irrigation cycle by 1–3 minutes, or eliminate one irrigation cycle per week.
  • Water only after the top inch of soil is dry.
  • Reset irrigation controllers and replace batteries in the spring and fall.
  • Adjust sprinklers to prevent overspray and run-off. (15–25 gallons per day)
  • Repair leaks and broken sprinkler heads. (20 gallons per day per leak)
  • Add 2" to 3" of mulch around trees and plants to reduce evaporation. (20–30 gallons per day per 1000 sq. ft.)

Other Outdoor Ideas

  • Use a broom instead of a hose to clean driveways and sidewalks. (8–18 gallons per minute)
  • Adjust your pressure reducer (if you have one) to keep pressure between 40 and 60 p.s.i. (Varies)
  • Don’t leave the hose running while washing your car. Get a self-closing nozzle to make it easier. (8–18 gallons per minute)
  • Repair any leaks around pool and spa pumps. (20 gallons per day per leak)
  • Repair leaking hose bibs. (15–20 gallons per day per leak)

Quick Tips

  • Pay attention to how much water you use.
  • Don’t waste water. Turn it on, turn it off!
  • Fix plumbing and irrigation leaks.
  • Take shorter showers.
  • Compost kitchen scraps instead of using the garbage disposal.
  • Garden with plants that don’t need a lot of water…or grow food, not lawns.
  • Mulch your garden and don’t overwater.
  • Use water sensors on your irrigation system.
  • You can eat to save water—eat less meat and eat more unprocessed plant-based foods.

San Diego County boasts tremendous natural beauty and diversity of life. Nature needs water, too! Conserving water is one way we can help protect biodiversity here and in the places that supply our imported water. To learn more about the natural life that calls San Diego home, visit the Museum’s Field Guides, developed by the Museum’s Biodiversity Research Center of the Californias .