Water is a Limited Resource. Wars have been fought over many things. Like freedom and economic differences, on unjust persecution of certain people, religious conflicts and NATURAL RESOURCES! From Oil and diamonds to timber and water created conflict between and within nations..These conflicts have occurred because of the finite supply of such resources, yet the human population continues to grow. This means that an ever-increasing number of people on Earth are forced to share the same limited amount of resources.
Why we should save water?
One in eight people worldwide does not have access to clean drinking water.
Less than 2% of the Earth’s water supply is fresh water.
Of all the earth’s water, 97% is salt water found in oceans and seas. Only 1% of the earth’s water is available for drinking water. Two percent is frozen.
What is sustainability?
Sustainability or conservation doesn’t mean that we abandon using them!
Using resources sustain-ably means that we use them in such a way that they are not depleted faster than they can regenerate.
For water, this means having a constant supply of fresh, clean water for both human consumption and the environment. We all need water to survive, though not everyone has access to clean water. It is believed that as sources of fresh, clean water become scarcer as the population continues to grow, wars may soon be fought over water in the same way they are currently fought over oil.
We use water for a multitude of purposes. Unfortunately, we often use it inefficiently and this depletes important freshwater sources. There are two ways that we use freshwater. Let’s look at each one more closely.
Consumptive Use of Water
Consumptive use is when water is not returned to the source from which it was removed. When water is removed from a source for outdoor usage, much of it evaporates into an unusable form in the air. Sometimes this water returns to the ground as rainwater, but because the clouds that trap this water tend to travel, the water in them will likely fall somewhere other than where it was removed from.
what can we do to conserve water
Water: Human and Animals
The human body is about 75% water.
A dairy cow must drink four gallons of water to produce one gallon of milk.
A person can survive about a month without food, but only 5 to 7 days without water.
Every day in the United States, we drink about 110 million gallons of water.
The average American uses 140-170 gallons of water per day.
Water and Home
Landscaping accounts for about half the water Californians use at home. Showers account for another 18 percent, while toilets use about 20 percent.
Showering and bathing are the largest indoor uses (27%) of water domestically.
If every household in America had a faucet that dripped once each second, 928 million gallons of water a day would leak away.
An acre foot of water is about 326,000 gallons. A one-half acre foot is enough to meet the needs of a typical family for a year. There are 7.48 gallons in a cubic foot of water. There are 7.48 gallons in a cubic foot of water. Therefore, 2000 cubic feet of water is 14,960 gallons.
More than 13 million households get their water from their own private wells and are responsible for treating and pumping the water themselves.
An automatic dishwasher uses 9 to 12 gallons of water while hand washing dishes can use up to 20 gallons. Always use full loads in your washing machine and dishwasher – this cuts out unnecessary washes in between.
A leaky faucet can waste 100 gallons a day.
Water and Bath
An average bath requires 37 gallons of water.
One flush of the toilet uses 3 ½ gallons of water (on average). An average family of four uses 881 gallons of water per week just by flushing the toildet. Place a cistern displacement device in your toilet cistern to reduce the volume of water used in each flush. You can get one of these from your water provider. Flush with less. Older toilets use a lot of water. You can reduce your usage by sinking a half gallon jug of water in the toilet tank. Do NOT use a brick, because it will break down and the sediment can damage your tank.
Take a shorter shower. Shower can use anything between 6 and 45 litres per minute. The average 5-minute shower takes 15-25 gallons of water–around 40 gallons are used in 10 minutes.
Turn off the tap when you brush your teeth – this can save 6 litres of water per minute. You use about 5 gallons of water if you leave the water running while brushing your teeth.
Water: Food, Agriculture and Your Garden
Of all the consumptive water use activities, agriculture can be one of the most inefficient and wasteful. Agriculture is considered a consumptive use activity because the water used for irrigation is removed from aquifers, streams, and rivers and is not returned to those sources. Irrigation is important to farmers because it allows them to control where and when crops are watered, but only about 45% of the water used for irrigation is actually taken up by crops. Additionally, too much irrigation can lead to issues like freshwater pollution and salinization of soils, which is when the soil begins to have a higher salt content than it should.
If you water your grass and trees more heavily, but less often, this saves water and builds stronger roots.
Water your garden with a watering can rather than a hosepipe. A hosepipe uses 1,000 litres of water an hour. Mulching your plants (with bark chippings, heavy compost or straw) and watering in the early morning and late afternoon will reduce evaporation and also save water.
Water outdoor plants in the early morning. You’ll need less water, since cooler morning temperatures mean losing less water to evaporation. It’s not a great idea to water in the evenings, since this can promote mold growth.
It takes 3.3-acre feet of water to grow enough food for an average family for a year.
Public water suppliers process 38 billion gallons of water per day for domestic and public use.
It takes about 100 gallons of water to grow and process a single pound of cotton, and the average American goes through about 35 pounds of new cotton material each year.
Hydroponics & Aquaponics uses 90% less water than traditional Agriculture
Water: Energy & Industry
Energy production is another form of consumptive, unsustainable water use as it takes a lot of water to produce usable oil, natural gas, and nuclear power. Ethanol is now widely produced and used as a source of fuel in the U.S., but growing the corn uses a lot of water. Hydraulic fracturing is the process of releasing natural gas from underground shale rock formations, and large amounts of water are needed in order to break the shale apart. Not only do nuclear power plants use boiling water reactors, they also need vast quantities of water to run through their cooling systems. While these examples illustrate unsustainable consumptive use activities that are somewhat necessary to our everyday lives, other consumptive uses include swimming pools and elaborate water fountains in the desert climate of the southwest U.S., such as Las Vegas.
Approximately 1 million miles of pipelines and aqueducts carry water in the U.S. & Canada. That’s enough pipe to circle the earth 40 times.
About 800,000 water wells are drilled each year in the United States for domestic, farming, commercial, and water testing purposes.
Industries released 197 million pounds of toxic chemicals into waterways in 1990.
300 million gallons of water are needed to produce a single day’s supply of U.S. newsprint.
A gallon of gasoline takes nearly 13 gallons of water to produce. Combine your errands, car pool to work, or take public transportation to reduce both your energy and water use.
Flying from Los Angeles to San Francisco, about 700 miles round-trip, could cost you more than 9,000 gallons of water, or enough for almost 2,000 average dishwasher loads.
A cross-country airplane trip (about 6,000 miles) could be worth more than 1,700 standard toilet flushes.
According to recent reports, nearly 5% of all U.S. water withdrawals are used to fuel industry and the production of many of the material goods we stock up on weekly, monthly, and yearly.
Water running through dams to generate hydroelectric power is an example of nonconsumptive use because the water flows through the dam turbines and is then allowed to continue flowing downstream. Hydroelectric power is often a preferred way to generate electricity because it harnesses the power of water that is already flowing, and it does so without producing emissions like gas and coal. The problem is that damming rivers prevents water from flowing downstream the way it normally would, which prevents that water from reaching the plants, animals, and people who live beyond the dam.
March 22 is World Water Day! Read and share the following tips, and do your part to help reduce our overall water consumption!
With more and more areas struggling with droughts, conserving water is more important than ever. Even if you’re not living in a drought-stricken region, cutting back on water use also means a lower utility bill and helps conserve a precious resource.