The Battle For Water Conservation At Home

In a world where History and the Social Sciences are often deemed as becoming obsolete, it is important that we step back from time to time and remember what our fathers and forefathers have told us for millennia: We must learn from the past, or surely there can be no future. Unlike in past eras when lifestyle in the passing decades were remarkably similar, we now live in a connected world where each generation is exponentially different from the previous both technologically and culturally. Even still, we cannot be so bold as to presume that this rule does not apply. In our humanity there are certain inevitabilities, and the past tends to find a way to repeat itself.

Wherever there is a lack of water, chaos ensues. The fall of great civilizations almost always run their course alongside widespread drought or an associated lack of resources that were once taken for granted. Aside from the air we breathe, water is our planet’s most valuable resource. Any sci-fi nerd (I say that word endearingly) could tell you that. It’s why our planet is so covetable.

Severely polluted fresh water. Photo courtesy of freshwater biomes mstc.weebly

But now we are coming to a point where water scarcity is no longer just a regional or climate based qualm. We are overpopulated to a point where no matter where and when you are living, there is not enough water for everyone to have an unlimited supply. As Americans, we no longer have to turn to Sudan or other places in the third world to see water scarcity. It is at our doorstep. The Colorado river is drying up. California is in its worst drought in a century.

California farm irrigation. Photo courtesy of cironline.org

It may be time for Americans to come to terms with the fact that our water supply is finite, which means that we do not have an endless supply. We only have the water that we have now. 97% of all the water on the earth is salt water which is not suitable for drinking. Only 3% of all the water is fresh water, and only one percent is available for drinking water. The other two percent is locked in ice caps and glaciers of that 1% of accessible drinking water, A LOT of it is tainted with trash, chemical pollution, and infectious diseases and parasites. There are two things that we can do to help not only our environment, but our human race; we can clean up the water we have, and we can conserve and limit the amount of water we waste. Remember, it doesn’t only save the environment, but also helps your pocket! Here are some water saving tips:

  1. Turn off the sprinkler! Your lawn really isn’t worth it. You can also convert to an alternative lawn such as a low moister flower or moss or pebbles and native plants.
  2. If it’s yellow let it mellow. If it’s brown flush it down.
  3. Take shorter showers, replace your shower head with a low flow one.
  4. Plug the sink to wash dishes all at once instead of letting the water run and doing each individual dish at a time.
  5. Don’t let the water run! While shaving, brushing teeth, or lathering up soap, keep the sink turned off to reduce your waste.
  6. Check all of your plumbing (pipes, toilet, faucets) for leaks.
  7. Insulate your pipes
  8. Reuse grey water in your garden and lawn. Check out some of the grey water reuse systems available. They’re pretty awesome!

     

Meghan Edwards