In a country where limitless clean water is available at the turn of a tap, it’s hard to believe that many parts of the world are at the losing end of a life and death struggle over water. Every year, drought and water-related diseases kill 5 million people around the globe. Blessedly, that’s not the case in the United States or in our communities. Water conservation saves you money and makes an important contribution to a better future. Here’s how to get started:

Stop leaks.

Check appliances and outdoor systems such as sprinklers for leaks. Get to know your water meter; it provides important information about consumption and leaks. Common leaks waste 10% of the water used in many homes.

Replace old toilets.

Toilet-flushing is the top water user in the home. If you haven’t replaced your toilets in 10 years or more, you’ll benefit from the new high-efficiency models.

Buy an efficient clothes washer.

Washers are the second-largest water user in the home. New “ENERGY STAR” certified models may use 50% less water and energy per load.

Visit for an array of water-saving tips”¦from the EPA and California Urban Water Conservation Council that can be applied anywhere in the U.S. and even in your neighborhood.