Water Conservation and Efficiency

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Indoor Tips Water Usage Calculator Outdoor Tips Water Resources Education & Community Programs Permanent Conservation Measures

The City of Raleigh service area is fortunate to have ample rainfall in most years and two water supply watersheds to capture water for drinking water purposes. Raleigh Water encourages efficient use of drinking water resources during normal conditions and enacts conservation measures during times of limited supply such as severe drought. Raleigh Water has initiated several programs to help educate our customers about the most water efficient technologies and to understand the mandatory conservation measures.

A note on ‘Efficiency’ and ‘Conservation’: Efficiency and conservation are often used interchangeably, however, they do have subtle differences. Water efficiency generally refers to technological changes such as upgrading to a high efficiency showerhead. Water conservation on the other hand reflects behavioral changes such as taking shorter showers.

Indoor Tips

There are a number of ways to save water, and they all start with you. The following household activities can have a significant impact on your water usage. Did you know…..

  • Full bath = 70 gallons
  • Regular Washing Machine = 40 gallons
  • High-efficiency washing machine = 28 gallons
  • 10 minute shower = 25 gallons
  • Leaving water on while you brush your teeth = 13 gallons
  • Older model toilet = 5 gallons per a flush
  • Watersense toilet = 1.28 gallons per a flush

The following will help you use water more efficiently in your home:


Think your home doesn’t have leaks? Think again! The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) suggests that most leaks within homes go undetected. In fact, the EPA also estimates that more than 1 trillion gallons of water are lost each year from residential homes- that is enough water to fill approximately 1,587,301 Olympic-size swimming pools.

Fixing a leak can be quick and easy, and often doesn’t cost much. The water that is wasted can quickly add up to an expensive water bill, not to mention the wasted water and energy from just supplying that water to a home or business. A leaky toilet flapper can cost less than $5, but save more than 200 gallons per day.

The EPA states that 10 percent of homes have leaks that waste 90 gallons or more per day. The challenge is locating the source of the water loss, as leaks can be either consistent or intermittent. Water can be lost from something as simple as a dripping faucet, a leaky toilet, or even an outside hose bib that may go undetected during the winter. Leaks can be easily avoided by conducting a simple check of plumbing fixtures and irrigation systems.

Free Water Conservation Kit

Water conservation kits are available to all single family home water and/or sewer customers (one kit per utility account). Kits include:

  • 2 high-efficiency bathroom aerators;
  • 1 high-efficiency showerhead; and, 
  • 1 package of two toilet leak detection tablets.

Please send an email to water.conservation@raleighnc.gov for more information.

How to Practice Conservation in your Community

  • Encourage your friends and neighbors to be part of a water-conscious community.
  • While staying in a hotel or even at home, consider reusing your towels.
  • Make suggestions to your employer to save water (and dollars) at work.
  • Encourage your school system and local government to help develop and promote a water conservation ethic among children and adults.
  • Support projects that use reclaimed wastewater for irrigation and other uses.
  • Pick-up the phone and report significant water losses from broken pipes, open hydrants and errant sprinklers to the property owner or your water management district.

Water Usage Calculator

Visit our Water Usage Calculator page. 

Outdoor Tips


Irrigation can contribute to a significant amount of water use during summer months. Due to the adoption of water efficient practices such as drought resistant landscaping and smart irrigation controllers, the city has seen a decline in overall irrigation use and mandatory irrigation days and times have been rescinded and are now included as voluntary actions. Irrigation of landscapes is recommended at a maximum of one inch per week.

Rainwater harvesting

Rainwater harvesting can help reduce the amount of potable water used.

Reuse Water

The City offers bulk reuse water free of charge to citizens and customer who have completed a certification training. This water can be used for irrigation, hydro-seeding, pesticide and herbicide application, concrete production, power/pressure washing, and dust control. 

See more information about reuse water.

Water Resources Education & Community Programs

Raleigh Water sponsors a variety of educational presentations. Our presentations focus on environmental stewardship, water resource management, water treatment and more! Contact our Community Relations Coordinator Liz Barbulescu by email at elizabeth.barbulescu@raleighnc.gov to discuss program options. Please include the following information in your request:

  • Contact information (name and numbers);
  • Group/School/Organization (children or adults);
  • Age range of audience; and, 
  • Desired date and time for presentation.

With adequate time, our Community Relations Coordinator may be able to tailor a program to meet your specific needs.

Permanent Conservation Measures

ALL Raleigh Water customers are currently under Permanent Conservation Measures.  

Learn More about Permanent Conservation Measures