Stop Taking Water for Granted! Conserve it!
As the availability of fresh water is being taken for granted, the problem of water waste is becoming more apparent. The Environmental Protection Agency estimates that well over 150 gallons of water is used per day by the average American household.
I know what you’re thinking – with all the water on our planet’s surface, why are we so worried about water conservation? We should have plenty of water, right? Not exactly.
It is true that more than 75% of the Earth’s surface is composed of water. However, the caveat is that not all the water on Earth is drinkable.
In actuality, only about 3% of the Earth’s water is drinkable, according to data provided by the Environmental Protection Agency. The rest is mostly seawater. However, seawater can be deadly to humans. The old phrase “Water, water everywhere, but not a drop to drink” comes to mind here.
How Salt Water Kills You
Your body’s excretory system, which includes your kidneys and bladder, is tasked with maintaining a balance of water and certain other chemicals (including salt) inside your body.
When you drink salt water, your body must release more water to maintain that balance. That water comes from your cells. Since your cells are now losing water in order to maintain equilibrium, you will begin to feel more thirsty.
As you drink more salt water, you go further into the danger zone until there’s so much salt in your system that your cells can no longer maintain equilibrium. In extreme cases, your kidneys will shut down, and you will die from dehydration.
So where does our drinking water come from?
Our drinking water comes from the many freshwater streams and rivers, aquifers, glaciers and the polar ice cap. However, compared to the amount of water in the Earth’s oceans, that is merely a drop in the bucket. Worse, the Earth’s population is growing very quickly. This, combined with stresses caused by climate change, is putting our water supply in danger of running dry.
Desalination is the Future
Some countries, such as the Middle Eastern countries, Australia and Singapore have already begun to turn to desalinating ocean water.
Even the United States has a few desalination plants up and running, with several more in the works.
However, according to an article from pri.org, desalinization has a big drawback. For many areas, the process is highly impractical, at least at the present.
The state of California has spent over $1 billion on a desalinization plant that only provides approximately 7% of the San Diego area’s drinking water needs – at a cost of about $5 per 1,000 gallons. By comparison, that is roughly twice the amount we pay for traditional freshwater.
So what’s making the process so expensive? The main problem is the energy needs for the desalinization plants. The article mentioned above estimates that the process uses approximately 200 million kilowatt-hours of energy per day.
To put that in perspective, that is more than half the operating costs of these desalination plants. That makes desalination highly impractical for many countries.
However, that is not to say that desalinization won’t be a viable option in the future. Scientists are already making headway in making the desalinization process much more cost-efficient.
For example, plans are already underway for creating desalinization plants that operate off renewable energy sources, which plans to cut costs by a large factor. You can get more information on this matter here.
Water Conservation is a Must
Until we can find a more economically feasible way to desalinate ocean water, we will need to conserve as much water as possible. Fortunately, this is easier than you may think – by doing something even as small as fixing a dripping water faucet, it is estimated that you can save well over 2,000 gallons per year. Here are some other ways you can help to reduce your water waste:
Take showers instead of baths – Showers use less water than baths. Try to keep your showers as short as possible, so that you waste as little water as possible.
Use a bucket to wash your car – Hoses use water constantly, and much of the water that is used goes on the ground. A bucket and sponge are far more water-efficient – not only are you using less water, but you’re also wasting less water as well.
Use water-efficient fixtures – Most Water-efficient fixtures will carry the EPA’s WaterSense seal. Look for that seal when purchasing your water fixtures. These fixtures are designed to make efficient use of your water, and most of them look good as well!
Fix all leaks – You will be surprised at how much water you’re wasting just by allowing a faucet to drip 24/7. Call a professional to have the leak fixed.
Contact Georgia Plumbing Experts for a free estimate!
If you have a leaky faucet, contact Georgia Plumbing Experts at (770) 744-0210 as soon as possible, and help reduce water waste in Cartersville, GA. You’ll be glad you did when you look at your next water bill!