Water Conservation

We need your help to protect our most precious resource: water.

Do you know how much water you use on a daily basis or where your drinking water comes from? The Ipswich River Watershed provides drinking water to 350,000 people and thousands of businesses in 14 communities in northeastern Massachusetts. These water withdrawals can dry up the Ipswich River, which is considered one of the most endangered rivers in America.  Parts of the Parker River are also pumped dry regularly in the summer.

We need your help to protect our most precious resource: water.

We hope that you will do your part to save water which will also help you save money and energy, and help save our rivers, too!

Why Save Water?

You’ll save money. Saving water saves money, not only on the water bill but also on the energy and sewer bills; if you have a septic system, saving water can prolong the system’s life.

You’ll save energy. Saving water is one of the best ways to save energy in your home and community.  At home, heating water for the shower, tub, sinks, laundry and dishwasher uses a lot of energy – so reducing water use in these areas will reduce your energy bills. Water is heavy and it takes a lot of energy to pump, treat and transport water and wastewater.  This is often the highest energy use in a community, so saving water can help your town or city reduce those costs.  Power plants use a lot of water, and transporting and heating water uses a lot of energy.  So, saving water saves energy, and saving energy saves water.

You’ll help save our rivers and protect nature. Saving water helps protect nature because our drinking water comes from rivers, streams, lakes and ponds.  Taking water from these natural waters can leave them dry or so depleted that fish and wildlife can’t survive.   This is a big problem on the North Shore.  So much water is pumped from the Ipswich and Parker Rivers that it results in fish kills, poor water quality and other problems.  You can help restore these rivers to health by saving water.

Saving water in summer is especially important because that is when our rivers have the least water to give, and fish, wildlife and natural plant communities are most vulnerable to reduced water levels.  Reducing lawn watering is particularly important because so much water is used on lawns (up to 15 million gallons a day in the Ipswich River Watershed alone), just when nature has the least water to spare.  Reducing peak water use in summer can also help your community avoid the costs of building new wells or reservoirs, thus helping avoid big rate increases.

You’ll help keep our drinking water clean and safe. Saving water can help keep our drinking water clean.  Pumping wells at high rates can cause them to pull more  contaminants into the water supply.  Similarly, pumping reservoirs down to very low levels can result in poor water quality.  These situations may necessitate spending more on water treatment or building a costly new treatment plant to remove the pollutants.  Saving water can help reduce these problems in some cases.

You’ll help reduce gases that contribute to global warming. Since saving water saves energy, it can help reduce the emission of heat-trapping gases that contribute to global warming.  The predicted impacts of global warming on the North Shore are serious, including increased intense storms and flooding, coastal erosion, and more extreme short-term droughts that affect our rivers and water supplies.

Tips to Save Water

Save Water Indoors

With the average American family using over 300 to 400 gallons of water per day, conserving water isn’t as hard as you might think. From using easy-to-implement habits to switching to more efficient fixtures indoors, you’ll find there are plenty of opportunities to conserve our most precious resource.

Save Water Outdoors

Typically, outdoor water use accounts for up to 50 percent of water consumed by households. You can reduce your outdoor water consumption by taking a few simple steps. So tighten those taps, eliminate those leaks and use water wisely.

Environmentally-friendly landscaping and gardening practices can create “Greenscapes” that conserve water and minimize or avoid using pesticides, herbicides and synthetic fertilizers while producing healthy lawns and plants with deep root systems. Learn more about the North Shore Greenscapes program and how to save water in your lawn and garden.

Save Water in Your Business

Learn about saving water and money through water conservation at worn. It includes links to success stories about Massachusetts businesses that are taking a leadership role on water efficiency and reuse.