• Install a low-flow aerator on your kitchen faucet. Free aerators are available to all Austin Water customers.
  • When washing dishes by hand, don’t leave the water running. Fill one sink or basin with wash water and another with rinse water.
  • Scrape food from plates instead of rinsing them before washing. Newer dishwashers and detergents get dishes clean without needing to pre-rinse.
  • Wash fruits and vegetables in a bowl or basin using a vegetable brush instead of letting the water run. Then use the wash water to water your plants.
  • Don’t use running water to thaw frozen foods. Thaw food overnight in the refrigerator or use your microwave's defrost setting instead.
  • Chill water in the refrigerator instead of running the faucet until the water gets cold.
  • Cook food in as little water as possible and put a lid on the pot. This will also help food keep more nutrients. Use water left over from cooking foods like pasta and vegetables to water plants.
  • Start a compost pile or scrape food into the trash instead of running your garbage disposal. If you must use your disposal, only run it once a day to reduce water use.
  • If you have a dishwasher, use it rather than washing dishes by hand. Efficient dishwashers use as little as four gallons per cycle.
  • Run only full loads in your dishwasher.
  • Use one glass for drinking water each day or refill a water bottle to cut down on the number of glasses you need to wash.
  • Soak pots and pans instead of letting water run over them while you scrape.
  • If you drop ice cubes from the freezer or have cubes left over after finishing your drink, don’t throw them in the sink. Put them in a plant instead.
  • If you are shopping for a new dishwasher, buy the most efficient model you can.The Consortium for Energy Efficiency has developed a list of energy- and water-efficient models.