Creating meaningful and positive changes in the health of Idaho’s rivers starts at home. Big changes in our river ecosystems start with a host of small changes at an individual level. With water consumption in urban parts of Idaho expected to double in the next 10 years, here are a few tips to get you started on the path to at home water conservation.

When We Turn On the Hose, We Tap into Our Rivers

  • In only 15 minutes, your hose goes through 100 gallons of water.
  • Water your lawn early in the morning; water evaporates quickly during the middle of the day. 
  • Use mulch around plants and shrubs; it holds moisture and keeps roots cooler.
  • Install a rain sensor on your irrigation controller, so your system won't run when it's raining.
  • Sweep instead of hosing your driveway, patio or sidewalk. Hosing for just 15 minutes wastes 100 gallons of fresh, clean water. Water run-off from our driveways and sidewalks carries contaminants such as dirt, motor oil, fertilizers and animal waste, into our rivers.
  • Adjust your lawn mower to a higher setting. A taller lawn shades roots and holds soil moisture better than if it is closely clipped.

Fix Leaky Faucets

  • A leaky faucet, shower or toilet can waste 50 gallons of water in just one day. 
  • Put food coloring in the toilet tank. If colored water appears in the bowl without flushing, there’s a leak that needs repairing.
  • Shut the faucet while brushing your teeth, shaving or washing your face. Every two minutes equals 5 gallons. This one tip can lead you to save up to 3,000 gallons per year.
  • Consider WaterSense® labeled products when updating your fixtures.
  • More indoor water conservation tips

Plant Native Vegetation

  • Most of the water consumed by households in urban parts of Idaho is used to water lawns. By supplementing your lawn with native shrubs and plants, you’ll conserve water, save money, provide habitat for birds and butterflies and reduce the amount of time needed to care for your lawn. 
  • Contact your local nursery or visit one of the links provided at the bottom of this page to see which native plants would make a beautiful and environmentally conscious addition to your urban landscaping. 
  • More outdoor water conservation tips

Water tips for businesses

For more information and tips please visit our WaterWise partners: