There’s as much water in the world today as there was thousands of years ago. Actually, it’s the same water. The water from your faucet could contain molecules that dinosaurs drank. Perhaps Columbus sailed across it.
Nearly 97% of the world’s water is salty or otherwise undrinkable. Another 2% is locked in ice caps and glaciers. That leaves just 1% for all of humanity’s needs all its agricultural, manufacturing, community, and personal household needs.
We drink very little of our drinking water. Generally speaking, less than 1% of the treated water produced by water utilities is actually consumed. The rest goes on lawns, in washing machines, and down toilets and drains.
If everyone in the United States flushed the toilet just one less time per day, we could save a lake full of water about a mile long, a mile wide, and four feet deep every day.
For the price of a single 12-ounce can of soda (about 50 cents) Paducah Water delivers up to 200 gallons of fresh clean drinking water to homes 24 hours a day.
Indoor water use statistics vary from family to family and in various parts of the country, but they average out pretty reliably. Nearly 40% gets flushed down toilets, more than 30% is used in showers and baths, the laundry and dishwashing take about 15%, leaks claim 5% or more, which leaves about 10% for everything else.
Little leaks add up in a hurry. A faucet drip or invisible toilet leak that totals only two tablespoons a minute comes to 15 gallons a day. That’s 105 gallons a week and 5,460 wasted gallons of water a year.
Which uses more water, a shower or a tub bath? It all depends. A partially filled tub uses much less than a long shower, while a short shower is much more water efficient than a brimful tub. If you shower in a bathtub, check yourself by plugging the tub to see how high the water comes when you’re finished. Do you use more or less than that amount when you take a bath?
Is it possible your toilet has a secret leak? You can test it by putting 10 drops of food coloring in the tank. Don’t flush for 15 minutes. If the colored water shows up in the bowl, the tank is leaking.
Some people thoughtlessly flush away tissues and other bits of trash in the toilet. Using a wastebasket, instead, will save all those gallons of water that otherwise go wastefully down the drain.
Have you ever heard of showering “The Navy Way“? Because fresh water is relatively scarce on ships, sailors were taught to just get wet, and then turn off the shower while soaping and scrubbing, and turn it on again briefly to rinse off. It’s a great water conservation technique.
Don’t let the water run when you brush your teeth or when washing your face. Most of it will be wasted. Just take what you need and save the rest.
Instead of letting the water run in the sink when you want a cool drink, keep a jug or pitcher full cooling in the refrigerator. If you detect and dislike the taste of chlorine in your water, which is commonly used for disinfection, an uncovered jug or pitcher will allow chlorine molecules to escape into the air, thus improving the taste.
Water is a precious commodity and there is a limited supply in many communities. Remember to use only the amount you actually need. Encourage your family to keep looking for new ways to conserve water in and around your home.