Here are some things we can do to make a difference.
UNESCO has predicted that by 2020 water shortages will be a serious worldwide problem. One third of the world’s population is already facing problems due to both water shortages and poor drinking water quality. Effects include massive outbreaks of disease, malnourishment and crop failure. The average American uses just under 100 gallons of water per day compared with the average African that uses just under one gallon per day.
Here are some things you can do at home to conserve water:
- Install low-flow showerheads. They’re cheap, easy to install, and can save hundreds of gallons a week. That equates to 350 pounds of CO2 saved per year.
- Install a toilet dam or bottle filled with water in your toilet tank to cut down on the amount of water used for each flush. Be sure these devices do not interfere with operating parts.
- Put food coloring in your toilet tank. If it seeps into the bowl, you have a leak. It’s easy to fix, and can save more than 600 gallons a month.
- Run your washing machine and dishwasher only when full. You could save 1,000 gallons a month. Wash clothes in cold water with new detergents designed for cold water washing.
- Soak pots and pans rather than let them sit under running water while you scrape them clean.
- Turn off water while you brush your teeth and save 4 gallons a minute — that’s 10,000 gallons a year for a family of four.
- Insulate hot water pipes with rubber, foam, or foil bubble wrap insulation so you don’t have to run as much water to get hot water to the faucet.
- Don’t use running water to thaw food.
- Water plants only when necessary. More plants die from over-watering than from under-watering.