This depends how high you are turning your faucet on to wash your hands. The above method of wetting, turning the water off and then rinsing is a good way to save water.
I agree with maddyg, the best way to save energy both with washing hands and brushing teeth is to turn the water off when you are not using it. Therefore, using the calculations from above, lets say you need to have the faucet on for about 5 seconds to wet and 15 seconds to rinse, you would at most be using (notice I said using instead of wasting) 1.1 gallons of water.
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