With some places in the world facing scarce water supplies and some others trickling into the beginning stages of water shortage alerts, water conservation awareness is a must.
Though many of us take having a daily water supply for granted, water scarcity around the world is a fundamental issue.
According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, a typical U.S. household containing 4 members uses around 400 gallons of water per day just at home, with most of this being from indoor water use. This is more than twice the daily worldwide average, comprising a large amount of daily water use as well as water waste.
There are basics that everyone can do to help conserve available waters sources. One place to start is buying energy efficient products and appliances when replacing older models, which reduces the water needed to operate them.
Leaks can account for as much as 140 gallons of lost water per week. Keeping an eye on appliances and fixing dripping pipes and faucets are essential, and usually just requires something as simple as tightening a loose fitting. For more practical tips to use around the house check out 100 Plus Ways To Conserve Water.
Finding ways to reuse water can be key in saving resources, as well as money. Collecting water outdoors to use again is an easy way to conserve. Putting up gutters with rain catchers or simply placing buckets under existing ones is a great way to catch rainwater that can be used for gardens and houseplants.
If you live near a water source and want to optimally increase energy efficiency, flowing water power can be put to work by installing small water turbines. Hydropower can be used to make energy for small scale items for common home uses. Smaller systems usually cost significantly less than solar panels and is an investment, as with other green power systems, that will more than pay for itself over time. Energy incentives may also be offered in some areas for households who opt for sustainable energy sources.
Whether you want to take a brief inventory or really investigate your water use, calculate it at WaterFootprint.org. Kids can check their water knowledge by taking National Geographic’s Water Wiz quiz.
Nearly everything we do takes water, from needed consumption to growing our food and even running our homes. Conserving this necessary resource on a global scale is essential to meet current and future needs.
Hoekstra, A. & Mekonnen, M. 2011. The Water Footprint of Humanity. 109-9. 3232–3237. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Retrieved from: pnas.org
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