Leaks are a major source of lost water. To discover if your toilet is leaking, take the top off a toilet tank and have your child put several drops of food coloring into the tank. Replace the top, wait for fifteen minutes and see if there is any dye in the toilet's bowl. If you see colored water in the bowl, the toilet is leaking. As a bonus if your child used blue or red dye, it will change color when he pees in it. Make sure to flush the dye once you are done testing the toilet, as some can stain the porcelain.
Have your child time his showers to see how long they take, now have him see if he can shave five minutes off his time and still get just as clean. Or introduce the idea of "military showers" where he gets wet, turns off the water, shampoos and soaps himself up, and then turns on the water to rinse. If your child prefers baths, plug the tub before starting the water so you don't waste any. Encourage your child to take showers if they can because a bath uses forty-five to sixty more gallons of water than a shower does.
Even though conserving water is important, so is drinking it. To prevent your child from letting the tap run to get cold water, fill a pitcher with water and keep it in the fridge so they can have a cold drink whenever they wish. Teaching your children to scrape their dirty plates into the trash and then put them in the dishwasher rather than running them under the tap is another easy way for them to learn to conserve more water.
Have your child make a poster or picture to hang in the bathroom reminding your family not to use the toilet as a wastebasket. It wastes three to seven gallons each flush. Another idea is to have your child turn the water off while brushing his teeth. Explain to him that this can save eight gallons of water a day. "That adds up to more than 200 gallons a month, enough to fill a huge fish tank that holds 6 small sharks!"
For more information about water conservation please visit http://www.centralbasin.org/