Conducting a water audit is the first step toward conservation. A personal water audit tells a person how he or she uses, and potentially wastes, water and gives areas to improve water conservation. For example, doing a water audit, or entering information into a water calculator, can tell a person if he or she use above average or below average in the shower, for dishwashing, for washing clothes, and so on. The average American uses about 100 gallons of water per day, which is equivalent to roughly two bathtubs filled with water. Obviously most of this is not used for drinking! We may not pay careful attention to our personal water use, but knowing more about it can help us become better conservers of this precious resource.

Watch this video of 6th grade students in San Diego, California—a coastal community. The purpose of this classroom video is to hear about students' water audits and what they learned about use and conservation.

For additional classroom context, video analysis, and reflection opportunities, read the Picture of Practice page for "Water Use and Conservation" in the Earth's Freshwater Environmental Literacy Teacher Guide, page 142.


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Lindsey Mohan, Ph.D. Educational Psychology and Technology
Sandra Postel, National Geographic Fellow
Tara G. Treiber, B.A. Natural Sciences: Ecology
Ari J. Posner, M.S. Urban Planning
Beth A. Covitt, Ph.D. Environmental Education and Conservation Psychology
Tania T. Hinojosa, M.Ed. Educational Technology
Jose Marcos-Iga, Ph.D. Natural Resources
Marcia S. Matz, M.A. Design
Abraham Miller-Rushing, Ph.D. Biology
Anica Miller-Rushing, M.Ed. Curriculum and Instruction


Cindy Olson


Lindsey Mohan, Ph.D.
Kristen Dell, National Geographic Society
Chelsea Zillmer

Educator Reviewers

Catie Boarts, Heal the Bay
Beth A. Covitt, University of Montana
Jenny D. Ingber
Meghan E. Marrero, New York State Marine Education
Marcia S. Matz
Sandra Postel, National Geographic Fellow

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