Earth is a water world, but only a tiny fraction can be consumed directly or with minimal preparation, such as boiling. It is estimated that people in developed countries use nearly 150,000 gallons of water each day and this is equal to 100 gallons per person each day. Studies have shown that many countries are threatened by water shortages. Although, water is abundant, very little can be consumed. For this reason, it is important for us to try to save water.
It is estimated that simple conservation methods can help reduce annual water bills by nearly $200. With just eight minutes of shower, we may use up to 20 gallons of water. If we do this every day, we are using nearly 7,500 gallons of clean water each year. With this amount of water, we can fill a medium-sized swimming pool that can wash about 4,200 loads of laundry.
Fortunately, we don’t really need to sacrifice our hygiene to conserve water. One easy way is to use proper showerheads. Some low-flow showerheads can deliver lower volume of water compared to standard showerheads. In this case, we may use only 60 percent of the water. While standard showerheads could gush out about 2.5 minutes gallons of clean water each minute, low-flow showerheads use only about 1.5 gallons per minute.
The design of the showerheads also ensures that they spray the water appropriately that we can shower conveniently. Some of these low-flow showerheads are available as low as $20 and they are still significant savings compared to standard models.
Another alternative is to use high efficiency toilet that can flush with less amount of water. In many households, toilets may spend more clean water than others. Each person urinates more than a few times each day, and flushing with full tank could be especially expensive in the long run. We can respond to the rising water prices and looming shortages, by using efficient toilets.
While standard toilets may require 1.6 gallons for each flush, more efficient models may require only 1.2 gallons. It is simply ridiculous to send so much clean drinking water to flush waste.
We should also consider recycling used water, from dishwasher, shower and kitchen sink. We can significantly reduce water usage by diverting the water to toilet tank. Used water can also used to water the garden and lawn. However, some local laws only allow us to use used water only for toilet. It can be considered unsanitary for use on the garden or lawn. To counter this, it is a good idea to use organic body wash and dishwashing soaps that can degrade naturally on the soil.
The energy needed to clean one drop of water releases some amount of greenhouse gasses. Water treatment facilities burn a lot of energy to remove contaminants and make used water safe for consumption. For this reason, we should take steps to make the Earth a cleaner planet, by using water more appropriately.
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