Global Water Crisis: A Matter of Priorities
Water is becoming increasingly important to today’s energy and environmental equation. Water is a valuable resource and deserves our attention.
The average U.S. home uses about 100 to 150 gallons of water per day per person. Europeans use an average of half that amount. U.S. water consumption has tripled over the last 30 years while the population has grown just 50%. Globally, water consumption is doubling every 20 years. According to government statistics, 36 states expect to see a water shortage in the next three years. Globally, the situation is extremely serious; today more than 1.1 billion people are without access to clean drinking water, as published by the United Nations.
Treating water is a very energy intensive operation today. Energy costs are nearly 30% of the operations costs at water treatment facilities. And, as water becomes scarcer, more resources will be needed to keep water clean and usable for consumption. In other words, wasting water could wind up costing all of us a lot more financially and environmentally.
There is no single solution to addressing water scarcity. It will take better infrastructure, conservation and education—along with innovative technology—to help provide a sustainable future for our water resources. Each of us has an opportunity to make a difference. By understanding how you personally use water, we are better able to easily adapt our lifestyles in order to better conserve water.
Easy steps to save water:
- Check household faucets for leaks. A faucet with even a slow drip takes 10 to 25 gallons of water. Just think, 15 drips per minute add up to almost 3 gallons of water wasted per day, 65 gallons wasted per month, and 788 gallons wasted per year!
- Keep showers to 5 minutes or less in length. A fifteen-minute shower takes 60-150 gallons of water.
- Keep a pitcher of water in the refrigerator. Then you won’t have to run tap water to cool it.
- Use a broom to sweep your driveway, garage, or sidewalk instead of using water.
- Use a bucket of water to wash your bike or the family car, then rinse quickly with a hose.
- Water your lawn in the evening or in the early morning to avoid evaporation. Be careful to water only the lawn and not the sidewalk or street.
- Use water only when you need it. Don’t leave water running; be sure to turn it off when you are finished.