The Green Solution To Water Usage This Summer
It's hard to realize that 70% of the world we live on is comprised of water. Yet it may be even harder to think that only 3% of this amount of water is suitable for us to use. Water usage requires energy to heat, pump, process, and then to re-pump and re-process. However, there are ways in which we can save water.
It is estimated that a family of four uses about 108,000 gallons of water each year. That is the amount of water that would fill a bathtub over 2,500 times. On average a household will use 320 gallons of water daily and 30% of that is used for outdoor watering.
As far as outdoor water goes it is hard to determine how much is used. In climates that are dry such as the southwestern US, the amount of water used can be as much as 60%. Here are some ideas on cutting down on water usage:
Most lawns do not need to be watered every day. Watering lawns every three days in the summer months is sufficient. If you step on a lawn and you feel the lawn underneath your feet spring back then it isn't in need of water. By using native plants to create a water-smart landscape, this can save considerably on the amount of water used.
Experts feel that the water used to irrigate is wasted. This is due to inefficient irrigation systems and methods. Also run off, wind and evaporation often cause the water used to be wasted.
The average family can save nearly 9,000 gallons of water in a years time by using a irrigation controller; http://www.epa.gov/watersense.">WaterSense is one label. This replaces the standard clock timer with this type of controller. The EPA may consider the development of a soil moisture based technology which would water plants based on moisture in the soil and just adjust the irrigation scheduling according to when moisture is needed.
There is some controversy between tap water and bottled water:
We cannot take for granted that bottled water is better for us than tap water. More than 25% of the bottled water you think comes from some French sparkling spring is actually coming from a municipal supply.
If you don't like the taste of tap water try adding some lemon, lime or fruit juice. Or, if that doesn't work for you, add watermelon and cucumbers to your diet since these are highest in water content.
Bottled water comes from wells, distilleries, or is spring or mineral water. It is bottled and may be carbonated or not. It is packaged in glass or plastic bottles. Approximately 50 billion plastic bottles end up in landfills annually. It takes about 700 years for this plastic to decompose.
Bottled water costs money to produce and distribute. The average cost for one bottle of water is $1.45 and 2.6 billion cases are sold in the US every year and people spend about $30 billion on bottled waters yearly.
Nestle and Aquafina are now going to label their bottles acknowledging whether the water used is from wells, private or public water supplies.
The choice of drinking bottled water is not necessarily better for you than tap water. Bottled water is neither regulated nor safer than tap water.
Taking a tally of inside our homes there are several ways to conserve on water usage. Here are some ideas:
Faucets and Showerheads
Check for drips periodically. This is usually a quick fix with a new washer and can save 20 gallons of water daily. All faucets should be installed with aerators which are the cheapest and most conservative method of saving on water.
Install a ShowerStart showerhead or converter for your shower. This will automatically pause your shower once it gets warm.
A toilet will use up to seven gallons of water each time it flushes. The EPA estimates that 27% of indoor water is used in the toilet. If there is a leak about 200 gallons is wasted. Converting to a low flush toilet will help and also by displacing some of the water in the tank. This can be done by putting a plastic bottle filled with water and weighed down with rocks or pebbles into the tank.
Replace your old washer with a high efficiency one. They are usually front loading and use about 30 gallons of water per load. In a year, this can save 3,000 to 9,000 gallons of water. When you are looking for new appliance consider washers that offer load and cycle size adjustments. These are more energy and water efficient.
Check your household for leaks by checking your water meter, then waiting for two hours without using any water. Then check the meter again. If the meter reading is the same then you have no leak; if it is different you know you have a leak.
Conserve water in the home by showering and not letting water run in the sink. Be sure you don't have any leaks. Cutting down on the amount of water we use in a day, month or year can do a lot towards having enough water to use on the planet for years to come.
About Eve Sherrill York
Have written online for several years on many subjects. Also use the username 'celticeagle'.