Things are pretty dry out there. And although so far there are only a few places where water use is formally restricted, it makes sense to do whatever we can to conserve water use both indoors and out.

In most cases, cutting back on water use not only helps save the precious resource but will save money from heating and energy costs as well.

Things are pretty dry out there. And although so far there are only a few places where water use is formally restricted, it makes sense to do whatever we can to conserve water use both indoors and out.

In most cases, cutting back on water use not only helps save the precious resource but will save money from heating and energy costs as well.Here is a collection of tips from the Plumbing-Heating-Cooling Information Bureau and the Soap and Detergent Association on making the most of your water.

Many of these are common-sense things we all know about. But a reminder doesn't hurt. Some authorities claim that nearly 50 percent of the water from any municipal system is wasted. Consciously work at saving water until it becomes a habit.

- Fix or replace leaky faucets. A leak that is only 1/32-in*

Here is a collection of tips from the Plumbing-Heating-Cooling Information Bureau and the Soap and Detergent Association on making the most of your water.

Many of these are common-sense things we all know about. But a reminder doesn't hurt. Some authorities claim that nearly 50 percent of the water from any municipal system is wasted. Consciously work at saving water until it becomes a habit.

- Fix or replace leaky faucets. A leak that is only 1/32-inch big can waste as much as 170 gallons of water a day. An "average" leak wastes up to 5,000 gallons of water a month, at an estimated cost of about $40 a year. If the leak is from a hot water faucet, add $30 to $40 for heating the water.

- A leaky toilet can waste from 3,000 to 5,000 gallons of water a month. So check the toilet for leaks as well. Use a dye in the tank (food coloring will do). Wait about 15 minutes to see if color appears in the toilet bowl. If so, you have a leak. Such leaks can also waste hundreds of gallons of water a week.

If you are not sure whether you have a leak somewhere in the house, you can check the water meter before you go to bed and again when you get up. If numbers have changed while you haven't used any water, go looking for leaks.

- Flushing a toilet takes five to seven gallons of water. This amount can be cut by placing a brick or a plastic bottle filled with sand in the toilet tank.

- If you're about to remodel or add a bathroom, look into the new water-saving toilets. They use only half as much water with no loss of efficiency.

- If you have an old-fashioned showerhead, replace it. New ones on the market use less water and increase enjoyment of the shower since they permit you to regulate the spray.

- Consider adding an automatic temperature control to your shower so you can preset the temperature before turning on the water. The average bather wastes about 2.5 gallons of hot water while adjusting the temperature. A family of four averages about 1,400 showers a year, so that amount can add up.

- Equip your faucets with aerators, which put millions of air bubbles into the water. You use less water because it suds up faster.

- When doing the laundry, wash full loads or use a lower water setting that matches the size of a smaller load. Washing machines use 30 to 35 gallons per cycle.

- Wash only full loads of dishes. Use a shorter cycle if dishes are not heavily soiled.

- When washing dishes by hand, don't let the water run while you rinse one dish at a time. Fill the sink and rinse dishes all at once.

- For shaving, shampooing and toothbrushing, run only as much water as necessary. Turn the faucet off until more is needed.

- Take a shorter or "Navy" shower where you wet down, turn water off, soap up and then rinse off. By cutting shower time to five minutes, you will save between 30 and 60 gallons of water.

- Use a minimal amount of water in the tub, if you prefer a bath.

- Don't use the toilet as a wastebasket for discarding tissues, candy wrappers, etc.