About 75% of the earth is covered by water but less than 1% is available for us to use. The rest is mostly salt water.
Nationwide, our water resources and supplies are stressed, to put it mildly. Between 1950 and 2000, the U.S. population nearly doubled. In that same period, public demand for water more than tripled! Each American now uses an average of 100 gallons of water each day.
A recent government survey found that at least 36 states are anticipating local, regional, or statewide water shortages by 2013. It’s time to become more aware of what we can do to use water more efficiently and to protect what we have for now and for the future. Remember: Every drop counts!
Why should you conserve? The average household spends as much as $500 per year on its water and sewer bill. By making just a few simple changes to use water more efficiently, you could save about $170 per year. If all U.S. households installed water-efficient appliances, the country would save more than 3 trillion gallons of water and more than $18 billion dollars per year!
Know what you can do? WaterSense is making it easier to identify water-efficient products and practices. Here are some easy ideas:
Turn off the water while you’re shaving or brushing your teeth. If you brush your teeth twice a day, you can save up to 8 gallons per day or over 100 gallons per month! The average bathroom faucet flows at a rate of 2 gallons per minute. Careful!
Take a shower instead of a bath. A five minute shower uses about 10-25 gallons of water depending upon your shower head. (By the way, change to one that conserves water if you don’t have one!) Filling a tub for your bath takes about 70 gallons. Eikes!
Running a full dishwasher uses less water than washing dishes by hand. But remember, only run the dishwasher when full. And scrape, don’t rinse the dishes.
When running the clothes washer, be sure to adjust the water level for the load size.
A leaky toilet can waste 200 gallons of water per day so be sure to have those fixed.
When landscaping, use plants that need less water. More than 50% of the water used for irrigation is wasted. Install drip irrigation when you can. Also, water late in the day or early in the morning to get the most out of your irrigation.
What can you add to the list? The first thing we can all do is to be aware and think before we waste. Take care and take action.