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National Drinking Water Week: May 1 - May 7
Massachusetts Water Resources Authority


Water Conservation Tips

For a printer-friendly PDF of water conservation tips,
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Annual Reports| Monthly Reports

Reservoir levels and water use

Index of water topics

In May 1988, President Ronald Reagan issued a proclamation in observance of America's first National Drinking Water Week. In his proclamation, President Reagan said,

"We desire drinking water of the highest quality and realize that our large water supply is neither limitless nor without expense. Knowing that good drinking water is a precious resource and one of the world's most important products, we need to continue to understand and identify potential hazards, how such hazards enter our water supply, and the best means to eliminate them."

MWRA works non-stop to protect and improve your drinking water. Here are some ways to conserve this precious resource.


Water waste can add up quickly. On average, a family of four uses 90,000 gallons of water each year; each person uses about 60 gallons of water each day. Consumers are discovering that more efficient water use can reduce the impact on the water supply and their wallets. Here are some ways to make your home and your habits more water efficient.

Fix Leaks
A leaky faucet is easy to see. But hidden leaks in the toilet, under the sink, or behind a washing machine can waste large amounts of water and can also damage floors or ceilings. Take a reading of your water meter. Check it again in an hour. If the reading has changed, you’ve got at least one leak. Investigate!

Install a Low-Flush Toilet
Toilets account for over one-third of the water used in most homes.
Installing a newultra low flush toilet will save thousands of gallons
each year and can reduce your bathroom water use by over 50% .

Install a Low-Flow Showerhead and Faucet Aerator
Some showerheads use over 5 gallons per minute. A low-flow
showerhead uses 2.5 gallons or less per minute and can save you
over 20 gallons per 10-minute shower. In one year, that’s over
7,000 gallons. Faucets can use 2 to 7 gallons of water per minute -
a low flow-aerator can reduce the flow by about 25%.

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Summer is an especially important time to save water. Water consumption
can increase up to 50% in the summer months due to outdoor water use.

The Inch Rule

Most lawns, shrubs, vegetables, and flowers need just one inch of water per week. If there has been an inch of rainfall during the week, you don’t have to water at all.

Overwatering can actually weaken your lawn by encouraging shallow roots that are less tolerant of dry periods and more likely to be damaged by

The Ground Rules for Saving Water Outdoors

  • Water your lawn (and other landscaping) in the early morning or evening to avoid evaporation.Be sure sprinklers water only on your lawn, not the pavement.
  • Never water on a windy, rainy, or hot day.
  • Never use the hose to clean debris from your driveway or sidewalk. Use a broom.
  • Apply mulch around flowers to reduce evaporation.

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