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Water. We drink it, water our plants with it and freeze it for ice. It is critical for the survival of both man and animal. The average person uses 94 gallons of water a day. Because water can be cheap and abundant, many people do not think about wasting water. This can result in higher costs for the family and increased demands on our water supply. Here are some ways you can save water and money:

1. Check for leaks in your household plumbing. Turn off everything in the house that uses water, then take a reading on your water meter. Go back in 30 minutes and take another reading. If the reading has changed, you have a leak. Go through the house and check for possible sources of this leak. Toilets are notorious for leaks. To make sure that your toilet has no leaks, place food coloring in the toilet tank. If you see color in the bowl, you have a leak.

2. Install low-flow devices in your home. Aerators on faucets provide great water savings and are cheap, easy to install and readily available at any hardware store. Low flow toilets use less water. If you need to replace your toilet, remember that a low-flow toilet uses 2 gallons per flush versus 6 with a regular toilet. Low-flow showerheads cost around $12 and can reduce flow in half---showers can use from 5 to 15 gallons a minute.

3.Think about the way you use water. Find ways to save by changing your habits:

Turn the water off while shaving or brushing your teeth.

Take showers instead of baths or take shorter showers and turn the water off while soaping or shampooing. If you have to take a bath, fill the tub half way.

When you do the laundry--make sure you are washing full loads and at the proper settings.

Use your dishwasher only when it is full. Don't rinse dishes before you put them in the dishwasher--scrape them.

Keep drinking water in a pitcher in the fridge instead of running the tap for cold water.

Put a plastic container filled with water in your toilet bowl to save displaced water and save many gallons per flush.

Use a broom instead of a hose to clean your sidewalks.

Wash vegetables and fruit in a basin instead of running water.

Water plants in the early morning or evening. This prevents evaporation.

Mulch around your plants to reduce evaporation and keep plant roots cool in summer.

Follow these steps and watch your water bill shrink.