Humans are between 55 and 78 percent water depending on age, sex and percent body fat. Without water we couldn’t breath, digest, think clearly and most other body functions necessary to life. We would be piles of dust.
In the midwestern United States where I live water is plentiful, and we waste it without too much thought or consequences like those in dryer states where people are fined for excessive lawn watering.
As Americans we think clean and safe water for drinking and bathing is a fundamental right which should be provided to us at an affordable price and for the most part it is.
But think about it:
According to the Wisconsin DNR there is about the same amount of water on earth as there always has been throughout her history.
97 percent of earths water is salty
2 percent is locked in polar ice caps
That leaves 1 percent for human needs.
Americans use more water than almost anywhere in the world because it is available and affordable.
Clean water is a finite resource.
Eventually we will all have to conserve, why not learn how now and be ahead of the game.
Conservation is our ethical responsibility to ensure water for our future generations.
According to the 2014 census there are 115,610,216 households in the U.S.
Each household uses roughly 65 gallons of water per day.
This is over 7.5 billions of water per day for our country.
Water removed from the aquifers (natural water storage depots) deep below the ground returns through rain, snow and runoff from lakes and rivers but:
Everything we take out has a huge risk of being polluted with many types of contaminates before it returns to the aquifer.
So think about these 10 simple tips to save water from daily household use:
30% of household use from outdoors
- Mulch trees, plants and garden to help them retain water.
- Keep mower blade height at 3 inches and leave some leaf mulch on lawn to help your lawn need less water.
- Water lawn and garden at early morning or evening to decrease evaporation.
- Use a broom to clean driveways and sidewalks not a hose.
19% of water use is from toilets
- Fix leaks and running toilets.
Replace toilets with new toilets that use 1.6 gallons of water per flush when possible.
23% is used for showers and faucets
- Repair leaks. A dripping faucet can lose 2,000 gallons of water a year.
Install low water shower heads and cut back on shower length.
15% for washing cloths
- Install high-efficiency washer if possible but if not consider making sure to run a full load.
13% is lost to leaks throughout the household
- Check all piping throughout the house and fix leaks.
When you think of these suggestions doubts and dilemmas may immediately cloud your mind and you’ll want to set the idea aside for later. The Interactivity Foundation (interactivityfoundation.org) booklet Water for the Future, Policy Possibilities for Public Discussion encourages readers to “rethink what counts as necessary…” and “What trade-offs may be acceptable?”
Challenge yourself. Check if your water utility has a way to easily track monthly usage like our utility’s site https://www.cityofmadison.com/water/sustainability/track-your-water-use-online. Once you’ve found your current usage pick one or two of the suggestions above and practice them religiously for one month, then check and see what you were able to save. The following month see if you can double it.
Ultimately wasted water is contaminated water.
This is your world.