Learn How To Reduce Your Water Usage
Water conservation is something we all should practice. Except for the air we breathe, water is the single most important element in our lives. It’s too precious to waste. Here are some useful facts and simple suggestions that will help you understand more about water. They’ll help you save hundreds, even thousands, of gallons per month without any great inconvenience. Conserving water is something that we all should be doing. We take water and water supply for granted when in all actuality supply is in high demand and of limited resource very little of the Earth’s natural water can actually be used for human consumption. Producing water is costly and uses those limited supplies of water available. By conserving water you can help supply more water while bringing a multitude of benefits your way.
Simplifying Water Usage At Home
On average, 10 gallons per day of your water footprint (or 14% of your indoor use) is lost to leaks. Short of installing new water-efficient fixtures, one of the easiest, most effective ways to cut your footprint is by repairing leaky faucets and toilets. If you use a low-flow showerhead, you can save 15 gallons of water during a 10-minute shower. Every time you shave minutes off your use of hot water, you also save energy and keep dollars in your pocket. It takes about 70 gallons of water to fill a bathtub, so showers are generally the more water-efficient way to bathe. All of those flushes can add up to nearly 20 gallons a day down the toilet. If you still have a standard toilet, which uses close to 3.5 gallons a flush, you can save by retrofitting or filling your tank with something that will displace some of that water, such as a brick. Most front-loading washing machines are energy- and water-efficient, using just over 20 gallons a load, while most top-loading machines, unless they are energy-efficient, use 40 gallons per load. Nearly 22% of indoor home water use comes from doing laundry. Save water by making sure to adjust the settings on your machine to the proper load size. Dishwashing is a relatively small part of your water footprint—less than 2% of indoor use—but there are always ways to conserve. Using a machine is actually more water efficient than hand washing, especially if you run full loads. Energy Star dishwashers use about 4 gallons of water per load, and even standard machines use only about 6 gallons. Hand washing generally uses about 20 gallons of water each time.
The Importance of Harvesting Rainwater
Imagine that you are in your home on a rainy afternoon. It has been raining for two days straight now and your front yard is full of puddles. The water is rushing along the drain ways on the side of the road and the local news is talking about the stress on the local sewer system that this extra rain is causing.
When you turn on the faucet in your kitchen sink to wash up the dishes from lunch, however, the water that you use may very well be coming from hundreds of miles away in an area that may very well be experiencing a drought.
Our conventional, industrial water supply has very little connection to local watersheds or local ecosystems. Rather, the focus has been on taking water from areas where water is apparently abundant and moving it to areas with high population densities or areas where water is scarce. To do this, we depend on huge, energy dependent pumping systems that most likely depend on the continued availability of cheap fossil fuels to fuel these pumps.
Learning how to redesign our homes and our lands to take advantage of the water that falls naturally from the sky is the easiest way to supply ourselves with all the water we will ever need. But what if you live in an arid region like Tucson, Arizona or other places where rain of any sort of is an oddity. How much rainwater can you potentially save?
How Much Rainwater Can You Catch?
Even in extremely arid regions, a couple of rainstorms per year will give you more than enough water for your household use. You won´t have to be running around outside with buckets to try and catch the water falling from the heavens because unless you live in a cave, the roof over your head is the ideal catchment platform for rainwater.
To calculate how much rain you may be able to catch, follow this simple formula:
• Measure the square footage of the collection area of your roof (Length x Width)
• Multiply that area by the amount of rain in inches (yearly or per rainstorm if you prefer).
• Multiply that number by 0.623 which is the quantity of water in gallons one inch deep in one square foot of space.
• That will give you the number of gallons that can be collected from your roof area.
Even if you live in a place like Phoenix, Arizona that only gets an average of 8 inches of rainfall per year, you still can harvest close to 10,000 gallons of water each year. You might not be able to take 20-minute showers or water your lawn every other day, but that would be more than enough water to survive on.