Several years ago I started working to reduce our household water consumption. The 3 of us were using 168,000 gallons a year. I thought this seemed like too much. I set an initial goal of using less water than what fell out of the sky onto our property each year. At an average annual rainfall of 17", we get about 105,000 gallons of rain. It took us 3 years, but this year our water consumption was 102,000 gallons! Most of this savings came from 3 changes: 1) I eliminated one of our 3 lawns, 2) I installed a dual-flush flush valve in our master bath toilet, 3) I have been increasingly frugal with irrigation each year. Losing our roommate back in May is sure to have helped for this year also. These changes allowed us to achieve year over year reductions of 6% in 2008, 25% in 2009, and 18% in 2010! My goal for next year is to just hold flat, since I have to replace some landscaping and intend to start a garden next spring. I am still somewhat surprised how easy it was to accomplish this.
For future savings I have more lawn to eliminate, and I would like to try some rainwater collection (even though it is not terribly practical here in sunny CA!)