Water conservation is one of those tag lines we’ve all heard so much, that we just stopped listening. Remember the assemblies we would sit through in elementary school and then run home to our parents crying that the world was going to run out of water if we didn’t turn the faucet off while brushing our teeth? As with so many issues, the fear mongering and lack of understanding turned us numb against the issue. The sad part is, it’s still an issue. So many of us live in a bubble that requires our lives to be directly affected by something before we believe that it’s real and work to change it. It’s the “as long as water is coming out of my tap, I’m good” mentality.
What we fail to realize is this:
- If we wait until our water is gone before we take action, it will be too late.
- Many parts of the world including areas of the United States suffer from water shortages every day.
- While not every area suffers from water scarcity most experience some form of drought at least 1 month out of the year.
- Saving water saves money!
Here’s just a sample of what you need to know about water conservation.
- According to the U.S. Geological Survey, the average American uses between 80-100 gallons of water per day. That’s an average of 32,850 gallons per year!
- Data collected by NASA shows that of the 37 aquifers across the globe, 21 have a greater usage versus replacement rate.
- The U.S. Intelligence Community Assessment of Global Water Security issued a study that predicts water consumption will exceed sustainable water supply by the year 2030. That’s not too far away.
What can you do? You are one person and the issue is global. You’re right. You are just one person. I’m just one person, and if every person made a small effort, the world would see a huge impact. Your wallet would see an impact too. Here are some ideas:
- Shower vs. Bath
A full bathtub can use around 70 gallons of water. A shower uses an average of 25 gallons. That’s a savings of 45 gallons in just one shower. Reduce the amount of time you spend in the shower and replace the shower head with a low-flow head for an even greater decrease in water use. For a family of four that could be a monthly savings of as much as $20 off your water bill.
- Use Recycled Products
It’s staggering how much water is used to produce items you use and consume every day. A cotton shirt can take 700 gallons of water to produce from start to finish. The Sunday newspaper takes 80 gallons to produce. By buying recycled products and reusing products we already own, we can make a huge difference on the water supply.
- Modify Your Machines
Replace your appliances with energy efficient ones. Can’t afford the changes just yet? Try these simple tips:
- Replace your kitchen faucet with a low flow faucet.
- Some older toilets can use between 3 and 7 gallons of water every time you flush. Try offsetting some of that water by placing a brick or other water safe object into the tank. This keeps the flush pressure the same without the water waste.
- Instead of wasting the water in the shower while waiting for it to warm up, collect that water in a bucket and use it for watering plants or cleaning. This step alone can save the average household between 200 and 300 gallons of water per month.
The issue of water conservation will be around for generations to come. Not because the special interest groups can’t let it go, but because it is a real issue with real consequences if we ignore it. This isn’t the “tree hugger” issue from your childhood. This is an everyday part of responsible adult living. Just as throwing the cereal box in the recycle bin has become a habit, responsible water usage will too. Seeing a reduction in the monthly water bill doesn’t hurt.