The planet’s freshwater supply is dwindling, and it is predicted that by 2025, two-thirds of the planet will run short of fresh drinking water. Currently, two-fifths of the world’s population lack access to properly sanitized water. Water scarcity is becoming an increasing problem for our planet. By changing our relationship with how we use water, we can guarantee that our basic needs can be maintained for generations to come.
Where Is All The Water?
Although 75% of the planet is covered with water, 97% of it is located in the oceans leaving a mere 3% as fresh water. Of the 3% fresh water found on the planet, less than 20% is accessible for consumption. With current environmental changes, record high droughts and over-consumption by humans, water is becoming scarce in many regions of the world. Reducing our water footprint is essential to conserving this finite resource.
Facts About Water:
- The consumption of water in the United States is the highest in the world.
- Each day, public water suppliers produce 38 billion gallons of water for daily consumption.
- The average person in the United States uses 100 to 140 gallons of water every day. This amount has increased by almost 20% over the past 10 years.
- The average person in a developing country uses less than 5 gallons of water each day.
- Showering, bathing and using the toilet account for about two-thirds of the average family’s water usage.
- In America, 6.8 billion gallons of water are flushed down the toilet every day. One flush of the toilet from a standard toilet uses 6.5 gallons of water.
- The average 5-minute shower uses 15-25 gallons of water.
- Consuming bottled water has approximately 1,400 times more impact on ecosystems and 3,500 times more cost in terms of resources.
- In the U.S. alone over 17 million barrels of oil are needed to produce the plastic just to meet annual bottled water demand.
- More than one-third of Africa’s population lacks access to safe drinking water.
- More than 130 million people in Latin America and the Caribbean lack access to safe drinking water.
Ways We Can Make An Impact:
Action 1: Global Goodness
- Turning off the faucet while brushing your teeth can save up to 2,400 gallons per year. Multiply that by our current population, and we would save over 720 billion gallons of water every year – just from being mindful of water waste while we brush our teeth.
- Timing your shower to last for 5 minutes or less can save up to 12,000 gallons of water a year.
- Water your lawns in the early morning or late at night to prevent evaporation.
- Run the washer only when you have a full load of laundry.
Action 2: Planet Protector
- All of Action 1.
- Installing low-flow shower heads and faucets can cut down water usage by 60%.
- Immediately repair any leaky faucets or running toilets.
- Invest in a front-loading washing machine. Front-loading machines use less water than top-loading ones.
- Use a toilet tank displacement device; this reduces the volume of water in the tank.
- Use drip irrigation for lawns and gardens.
- Replace grass with shrubs and ground cover that require less water for maintenance. To learn how to substitute clover for grass click here.
Action 3: Earth Angel
- All of Actions 1 & 2.
- Harvest rainwater. It’s an efficient way to water your plants and garden areas.
- Don’t use the garbage disposal. Compost, instead.
- Upgrade older toilets with newer 1.6 gallons per flush models.
- While you wait for your shower to heat up, collect the running water and use it to water plants – or install a circulation pump so hot water can come out immediately.
- Encourage your local government and school system to promote water conservation to members of your community.
- Choose to be an Ambassador for Change, and always Spread Love and Spread Light.