Are you aware that the planet’s freshwater supply is dwindling and it is predicted by 2025 that two-thirds of the planet will run short of fresh drinking water? Or that currently two-fifths of the world’s population lack access to properly sanitized water? Water scarcity is becoming an increasing problem for the planet. By changing our relationship with how we use water, we can guarantee the basic water needs of people can be maintained for generations to come.
Where is all the Water?
Of the 75% of the planet that is covered with water, 97% of that water is located in the oceans, leaving a mere 3% as freshwater. Of the 3% freshwater found on the planet less than 20% of it 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 each day. This amount has increased by almost 20% over the last 10 years.
- To compare our usage, 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 is flushed down the toilet every day. One flush of the toilet from a standard toilet uses 6 ½ gallons of water
- The average 5 minute shower uses 15-25 gallons of water.
- 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.
- Timing your shower to be 5 minutes or less can save up to 12,000 gallons a year.
- Water lawns early mornings or late at night to prevent evaporation.
- Only run the washer when you have a full load of laundry.
Action 2: Planet Protector
- All of Action 1
- Installing low flow shower heads and faucets can save 60% of water used.
- Immediately repair any leaking faucets or running toilets.
- Invest in a front-load washing machine. Front-loading washing machines use less water than top-loading washing machines.
- Use a toilet tank displacement device, this reduces the volume of water in tank.
- Use drip irrigation for lawns and gardens.
- Replace grass with shrubs and ground cover
- Reuse ziplock baggies and plastic wrap. By simply cleaning them with dish soap and hanging to dry, you will not only save money but also save plastic.
Action 3: Earth Angel
- All of Action 1 & 2
- Harvest Rainwater. It’s an efficient way to water your plants and garden areas.
- Don’t use the garbage disposal, instead compost.
- Upgrade older toilets with water saving models
- While you wait for your shower to heat up, collect the running water and use it to water plants.
- Encourage your local government and school system to promote water conservation to members of your community.