Two sets of hands - adult and child - holding a photo of a water droplet

How can we save water?

Responsible consumption to improve our water footprint


Water is a necessary but limited resource in our everyday lives. It's required for mainting proper hygiene, for growing food, for carrying out industrial and other business activities, but above all, for surviving.

Why do we talk so much about saving water? Consider the following facts: Nearly 70% of our planet is covered in water. Of this 70%, 97% is salt water, making it unfit for human consumption. And just 2% is fresh, which is what we use for various functions and as drinking water, once it's been filtered.

This liquid is found in nearly all life processes of living things, whether they be plants, animals, or humans. What's more, the human body is approximately 65% water, and humans must consume it daily for the body to function properly. Seeing how important it is, we want to share some recommendations for conserving water.

It's true that everyday people worry more and more about this topic and seek different ways to save water at home. However, we can always learn just one more habit for responsible consumption that can reduce our ecological footprint. To start, we should consider the principle of circular economy, which is essential for creating an economic model for sustainable development based on the 7 Rs: reduce, reuse, repair, renovate, recycle, recover, and redesign.

Benefits of saving water

Water is one of the most precious goods on our planet, and protecting it should be a priority for human beings. Learning how not to waste it and use it more responsibly means taking care of our surroundings and respecting the environment.

When we save water, we achieve the following:


  1. Protect ecosystems and care for the environment: Ecosystems, plants, and animals - just like humans - need fresh water to survive. This liquid helps stabilize and regulate the environment and the organisms that live in it, making it vital for conserving the biodiversity of flora and fauna.
  2. Ensure food production: Sectors such as agriculture and farming require water for planting, cultivating, and harvesting fields as well as for raising animals. Water scarcity could seriously harm these activities, leading to a food shortage. Water is also essential for minimizing the impact of future droughts, especially in areas that already lack sufficient water supply.
  3. Reduce our water footprint: The water footprint is an environmental indicator that measures the amount of fresh water needed to manufacture products and provide services to society. When we calculate it, we become aware of the amount of water we use (liters per person). Focusing on saving water in industrial processes and domestic use can teach us to be more efficient in its use.
  4. Meet SDGs: Saving water brings us one step closer to meeting the United Nation's Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) set forth in the 2030 Agenda. The SDGs most related to water management are:

Recommendations for saving water

It's estimated that the average water consumption in Spanish households is 142 liters (37.5 gallons) per capita per day. More than 70% of this is used in the bathroom and almost 20% in the kitchen. By changing some habits at home or at work, it's possible to achieve significant change. This way, in addition to saving water, you'll also save on your water bill.

Here are some ways to save water:

A child filling up a glass with water

  • Turn off the faucet when not in use: Washing your hands, brushing your teeth, or shaving are three frequent habits in which you can save water with a very simple action. Simply turn off the faucet while soaping up, cleaning, or shaving and turn it on only when needed. While waiting for the water to heat up, you can fill any container to reuse the stored water for cleaning or watering plants.
  • Install faucet aerators: Economizers or aerators on faucets and showerheads reduce the flow of water, so less liters are consumed, and the difference is almost unnoticeable to people.
  • Take short showers and avoid baths: It’s estimated that bathing takes up more than twice as much water as showering, so it’s always better to shower. In addition to showers not being too long, turning off the tap while soaping up is recommended.
  • Use eco-friendly water tanks: Eco-friendly or dual water tanks make it possible to flush the water needed for each use, saving several liters. If this is not a possibility, two full bottles of water can be placed inside the tank itself.
  • Use the bathroom trash can: Another measure to save water is to place a trash can in the bathroom in order to prevent any garbage from being flushed down the toilet.
A woman putting clothes in a washer

  • Plan out your laundry and use a suitable program: Planning out your laundry allows you to run the washing machine on a full load. Also, choosing the most suitable washing program in each case leads to significant savings.
  • Cook with less water: Water is necessary for cooking, but there are a few small things we can do to save. For instance, cook food in a pot that’s suitable in size based on the amount being prepared. Another measure is to defrost food in the refrigerator instead of placing it under running tap water. It’s also recommended to place a pitcher in the refrigerator to always have cold water and not have to let the tap water run until it cools down.
  • Reuse excess water: Water used to wash vegetables or boil eggs, in other words, clean water that doesn’t contain salt, can be used to water plants.
  • Use the dishwasher: Washing dishes by hand uses more water than the dishwasher, so whenever possible, it’s recommended to fill it and run it on a full load. If this is not possible, dishes should first be scrubbed in a sink and then rinsed later.
A person reusing water

  • Choose smart appliances: Replace appliances with energy efficient models when needed. They save water and energy in the long run.
  • Repair leaks: If a leak is detected, it should be repaired right away. Although it may seem insignificant, a broken faucet leaks 60 drops per minute, which is equal to around 700 liters (185 gallons) per month. Another very useful tip is to slightly close the house’s water shut-off valve. This will make it possible to save a great amount water daily, and it won’t be noticeable.
  • Design irrigation systems: Automatic drip irrigation systems that supply water close to the roots of plants save many liters. To be effective, they must be adapted to the size and needs of each garden. Where this is not possible and sprinkler irrigation is used, the position of the sprinklers, their flow rate, and the area they cover should be properly designed to minimize water use. Also, it’s best not to water plants and gardens at mid-day as it’s hotter and the water evaporates. A good alternative for courtyards and outdoor areas of the home can be the installation of artificial turf.
A covered pool

  • Install an automatic push button: Automatic push buttons or infrared sensors are very useful for public places such as schools, sports complexes, malls, offices, etc. The tap itself supplies water for a few seconds, which prevents wasting extra liters.
  • Do not empty the pool: The recommendation is to not empty the pool during the winter. Ideally, it should be covered and undergo preventive maintenance. If the appropriate treatments are applied, the same water can be used for more than five years. For example, you can install a closed circuit purification system or place a solar cover during the summer months to prevent the surface water from evaporating.