Water Conservation

Water Water Everywhere – Water Conservation Is Everyones Business

Water, Water Everywhere – Water Conservation Is Everyone’s Business

Water Statistics

Our earth is covered by 71% water. Sounds like a lot doesn’t it? With so much water on this planet why be concerned about turning on the tap and using as much as we want? Well let’s take a closer look at what this 71% is really saying:

  • Of that 71%, the salt-water oceans and other large bodies hold approximately 97% of the total water.
  • Of the remaining water, 1.6% of the water is below ground in aquifers.
  • 0.001% is in the air as vapor, clouds and precipitation.
  • Glaciers and polar ice caps hold 2.4%.
  • Land surface water such as rivers, lakes and ponds makes up only approximately 0.6%.
  • A very small amount of the Earth’s water is contained within biological bodies and manufactured products.
  • Of the available fresh water approximately 70 percent of freshwater is consumed by agriculture to produce food for all of us.

Some observers have estimated that by 2025 more than half of the world population will be facing water-based vulnerability, a situation which has been called a water crisis by the United Nations.

No matter how you arrange the numbers it sounds grim doesn’t it? Perhaps. The sad fact is that for most people in the industrialized world, more than enough water passes within their grasp to meet the majority of their needs. At least the needs of their outdoor world.

Sadly, for most of us in the modern world, it is all to often taken entirely for granted. We turn on the tap and expect it to be there, without so much as a thought of what it takes to get it there or from where it comes.

Water, more precious than oil, fine gems or precious metals sustains life and has been attributed as a gift from both God and the gods (little “g”). It is fought over, rationed, monitored and carefully controlled. Yet seldom respected, protected or cherished.

Water Conservation

The Scenario

Water flows through or lives to the point we seldom give a thought to it, especially after it has served the immediate purpose for which we summoned it. We take a drink from a glass filled with much more than we want to consume, drawn from a faucet that we have let run until the water is cool and afterward pour out, often more than we consume, the remainder to disappear into our sewers.

We wash our vehicles on our dutifully paved driveways and watch as it runs off into the storm sewer, taking with it all that detracts from our symbol of status or pride like a loyal servant.

In our evermore health conscious world, we wash and rewash our hands, allowing the powerful solvent abilities of water to carry away all that might cause us biological harm, never giving thought to the fact that waters abilities are far from being utilized.

We faithfully take our cleansing showers in order to maintain that “acceptable” level of personal hygiene and in the process run countless gallons of water down the drain until the over consuming shower reaches that “just right” temperature.

Outside, we have carefully planted and manicured expanses of high maintenance grass, watered and fertilized to that perfect look and our planting beds are filled with all of the most popular non-native and often exotic plants. Perhaps the beds were once covered with mulch, but it has long since broken down and weeds have become a familiar sight.

We faithfully rely on automatic sprinkler systems to keep everything green and lush so that our piece of the world meets with the approval of all around us. The timers are set and everything comes on regular as clockwork regardless of the weather or need and much of the water gets applied to sidewalks and driveways that need it not.

We go back inside because we’re hungry. We get out lettuce and tomato’s and dutifully wash them under running water because we’re very health conscious and are concerned about pesticides left on our food. We rely on the cleansing power of water to carry away all that we wish not consume and are proud of our conscious decision to live healthier.

After finishing our food, we dutifully put the few dishes and utensils we dirtied into the dish washer and turn it on because having dirty dishes sitting around is not cool. Having just come inside from being outdoors for our healthful walk, our clothes are dirty so we change and faithfully place them in the washer and turn it on so that dirty clothes don’t stack up.

We are proud of the fact that we surveyed the yard and everything is lush and green just as we expect it to be so that our neighbors will approve. But we failed to notice that one outdoor faucet is leaking and that our children failed to turn off the other one completely after playing with their water toys.

Surveying the surroundings, we also failed to notice the puddles of water left at the bottom of that slope after the sprinkler system shut off. But all is green and lush. What’s the big deal? It’s just water – right?

Sound familiar? Sadly this occurrence is all to familiar in our comfortable industrialized societies anymore. All to often we have have become complacent and expectant of what has become a common commodity of our lives. But the reality is that water is not an unlimited resource and it does have its limitations.

A reality that many have been made increasingly aware of through droughts, water rationing and strict management. Yet few of us have yet to come to the realization that wise use of water begins with each of us as individuals. We, as individuals are the single biggest user of water and wise use begins with us, our use, and expectations.

Yes it true that industry and commerce are big users. But it is us, the individuals who use by far the most. Both in our personal lives and through our expectations in life.

Suggestions To Get Started

There is coming a day for all of us that this little appreciated, thought of and common resource is no longer a resource to be taken lightly and for some, that time has already come. Wise water use, like all green living, is not a thing to do, but rather a way of thinking that is developed over time and transformed into actions.

It is not something that one can simply turn a switch, take a pill, or buy. But rather it is developed over time. Below is a list of suggestions to help get you started. Think of this like a test. How many do you do now? How many do you fail at? How many could you do?

Water Conservation Is Everyone's Business

Bathroom

When you are washing your hands, don’t let the water run while you lather.

If your shower can fill a one-gallon bucket in less than 20 seconds, then replace it with a low-flow shower-head. They’re inexpensive, easy to install, and can save your family more than 500 gallons a week.

Time your shower to keep it under 5 minutes. You’ll save up to 1000 gallons a month.

Install low-volume toilets.

Put food coloring in your toilet tank. If it seeps into the toilet bowl, you have a leak. It’s easy to fix, and you can save more than 600 gallons a month.

Plug the bathtub before turning the water on, then adjust the temperature as the tub fills up.

Turn off the water while you brush your teeth and save 4 gallons a minute. That’s 200 gallons a week for a family of four.

Make sure your toilet flapper doesn’t stick open after flushing.

Make sure there are aerators on all of your faucets. This decreases water flow and increases its effectiveness when washing hands, etc.

Install an instant water heater on your kitchen or bathroom sink so you don’t have to let the water run while it heats up. This will also reduce heating costs for your household.

Bathe your young children together.

If your toilet was installed prior to 1980, place a toilet dam, brick or bottle filled with water in your toilet tank to cut down on the amount of water used for each flush. Be sure these devices do not interfere with operating parts.

Turn the water off while you shampoo and condition your hair and you can save more than 50 gallons a week.

Turn off the water while you shave and you can save more than 50 gallons a week.

To save water and time, consider washing your face or brushing your teeth while in the shower.

Keep a bucket in the shower to catch water as it warms up or runs. Use this water to flush toilets or water plants.

Children

Teach your children to turn the faucets off tightly after each use.

Don’t buy recreational water toys that require a constant flow of water.

When the kids want to cool off, use the sprinkler in an area where your lawn needs it the most.

Garden

Water Conservation Is Everyone's

Plant during the spring or fall when the watering requirements are lower. Use a layer of organic mulch around plants to reduce evaporation and save hundreds of gallons of water a year. Choose a water-efficient drip irrigation system for trees, shrubs and flowers.

Watering at the roots is very effective, be careful not to over water. Water your plants deeply but less frequently to create healthier and stronger plants. Group plants with the same watering needs together to get the most out of your watering time.

Remember to weed your lawn and garden regularly. Weeds compete with other plants for nutrients, light, and water. While fertilizers promote plant growth, they also increase water consumption. Apply the minimum amount of fertilizer needed. Start a compost pile.

Using compost when you plant adds water-holding organic matter to the soil. More plants die from over-watering than from under-watering. Be sure only to water plants when necessary. Water only as rapidly as the soil can absorb the water. For More Info. Visit Best Water Softener Guide

Posted by The Bam Project

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