Reduce Water Use

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According to the Environmental Protection Agency, each year more than 1 trillion gallons of water pass through sink faucets in the United States. How and where is water being used around your school?

Investigate bathroom faucets and toilets, locker room showers, the kitchen, science labs, art rooms – and don’t forget outside. Leaky faucets, spouts and outdoor hoses waste gallons and gallons of water every day, and a few small changes can make a big difference. Installing aerators and other simple strategies can reduce a sink's water flow by 30% or more!

Get started

  • Contact the principal or a school facilities administrator to get their support for conducting a water audit in one of the school buildings. 
  • Conduct a walk-through of your school and its grounds in search of all your water connections.
    • Find out in advance the last time fixtures have been updated and whether or not any efficiency measures had been taken to use less water.
  • Use Eco Schools’ water audit worksheet to calculate your school’s current water usage.
  • Measure the gallons of water saved this year or just on your day of action.
    • Work with your facilities staff to choose a baseline water use and see how much lower you can go.
  • Install faucet aerators and advocate for leaks to be fixed.
    • Aerators are small and inexpensive devices that can be screwed directly onto a faucet where the water comes out to slow the flow of water, cutting the gallons per minute nearly in half. 

Additional resources

  • Use Arc to track your school's water data throughout the school year.
  • Check the Green Strides resource directory for updated program resources from federal agencies and partners.
  • Visit the Environmental Protection Agency’s WaterSense program to learn more about water use and conservation strategies.
  • Learn more about water and climate change around the world through the United Nation’s World Water Day.
  • Reference the ENERGY STAR Energy Efficiency Student Toolkit from the Environmental Protection Agency and the ENERGY STAR Water Efficiency Treasure Hunt

Project spotlight

Istituto Superiore “Marie Curie” in Italy

"Drop after drop...let's fill up the reservoir of life!" is a project to showcase how the school was able to reduce water consumption. It was developed and managed by the students to learn about the value of one of the most precious natural resources while at the same time promoting more sustainable strategies for water use.

Throughout the school year, the students actively participated in the project, exploring the theme of water and developing the most diverse strategies to reduce water consumption.

The project supervisor hosted "Drop after drop...let's fill up the reservoir of life!" at the Science Under 18 Pescara event in Sabucchi park. During the two-day event, the students presented their research to attendees. Attendees included students from other schools and some joined via video call.