Consumption challenge update: Simple changes cut my water bill in half!!!

Our new water bill just arrived, so I thought it’s a good time to weigh in on the water component of the summertime consumption challenge.

I’m surprised and excited to report that we have reduced our water usage by two-thirds and cut our bill in half when compared to the previous few months.

Sounds like we cheated right? The two changes that likely most affected the decline were 1) replacing a leaky sprinkler valve, and 2) fixing a leaky toilet.

Here are the updated charts, with the bold part showing the consumption challenge months:


I didn’t realize the impact of these two water problems, and I would have caught them sooner had I paid more attention to my bills. My recommendation to anyone interested in reducing their water consumption (and bill) is to do the following:

  1. Start your investigation at the top. Take a look at your bills and do a few quick calculations to figure out whether your consumption really makes sense. Could you really by using 400+ gallons per day, or is there a problem somewhere? Awareness goes a long way to curbing consumption. See how this chart illustrates:
  2. Meet your meter. Find the lid, pop it off, and with everything in your house off, check to see if it’s running. If it is, you know you have an issue.
  3. If you suspect something odd, call your utility company. I did this and was surprised at how helpful they actually were. They checked the meter for me free of charge, and have offered a refund when I show them documentation that I fixed my leak.
  4. Seek out high bang-for-your-buck changes. No matter how short a shower I took, I would never have dented my overall consumption without fixing my leaky toilet. Focus on fixing the most egregious water wasters, like overwatering your lawn, and you’ll see a bigger change than with other habits.

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