Dishwashers were invented a century ago as labor-saving devices, mostly to relieve the drudgery of housework, and their water consumption wasn’t considered. Until the last couple of decades, when water shortages began to command public attention, they still used more water than doing dishes by hand. But today, washing by hand uses more. The Department of Energy has set standards for dishwashers, and manufacturers compete to use less water. Also, our methods of washing dishes by hand haven’t changed much, nor would it be easy to change them radically. So use your dishwasher free of guilt!