Water Efficiency


Water Efficiency

In the United States, approximately 340 billion gallons of fresh water are withdrawn per day from rivers, streams, and reservoirs to support residential commercial, industrial, agricultural and recreational activities.  This accounts for about one-fourth of the nation’s total supply of renewable fresh water. Almost 65% of this water is discharged to rivers, streams and other water bodies after use and in some cases treatment.

Additionally, water is withdrawn from underground aquifers. In some parts of the United States, water levels in these aquifers have dropped more than 100 or more feet since the 1940s.

On an annual basis, the water deficit in the United States is currently estimated at about 3,700 billions gallons. In other words, Americans extract 3,700 billions gallons per year more than they return to the natural water systems to recharge aquifers and other water sauces according the Environmental Protection Agency EPA.

Water is so vital to our daily lives yet often taken for granted. Between increasing demand and stinking supply, our water resources are strained, threatening both human health and the environment.  In short, the current trend in the demand for water is completely unsustainable, with many cities projecting serious shortage within 10 years.  With the United States population doubling over the past 50 years, our thirst for water tripling, and at least 36 states facing water shortages this year, the need to conserve water is becoming more and more critical.

SAVE Water…and organize your thinking about water efficiency.

Bathroom—where over half of all water use inside a house takes place:

·       Do not let the water run while shaving or brushing teeth.
·       Take short showers instead of tub baths. Turn off the water while soaping or shampooing.
·       If you must use a tub, close the drain before turning on the water and fill the tub only half full. Bathe small children together.
·       Never use your toilet as a waste-basket.
·       When you take a bath, re-use water to flush toilets.

Kitchen and Laundry—simple practices that save a lot of water:

·       Keep drinking water in the refrigerator instead of letting the faucet run until the water is cool.
·       Wash fruits and vegetables in a basin. Use a vegetable brush.
·       Do not use water to defrost frozen foods; thaw in the refrigerator overnight.
·       Scrape, rather than rinse, dishes before loading into the dishwasher; wash only full loads.
·       Add food wastes to your compost pile instead of using the garbage disposal.
·       Wash only full loads of laundry or use the appropriate water level or load size selection on the washing machine.

Equipment—homes with high-efficiency plumbing fixtures and appliances save about 30 percent of indoor water use and yield substantial savings on water, sewer, and energy bills:

·       Install low-flow faucet aerators and showerheads.
·       Consider purchasing a high efficiency washing machine which can save over 50 percent in laundry water and energy use.
·       Repair all leaks. A leaky toilet can waste 200 gallons per day. To detect leaks in the toilet, add food coloring to the tank water. If the colored water appears in the bowl, the toilet is leaking. 

Water is our precious commodity. We must save it.
-M. Grace Sielaff

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