Water Conservation: Every Drop Matters
Three-quarters of the Earth’s surface is covered by water; however, freshwater is a finite resource. Covering the land with impervious surfaces like rooftops, parking lots, and roads prevents rainfall from recharging groundwater. Instead, the water picks up oil, pesticides, and dirt from the ground and flows to the nearest tributary or storm sewer, which degrades water quality. Additionally, Climate change intensifies storms and droughts, and conserving our precious water resources is critical to our sustainable future.
Conserving water protects water quality and saves money, because treating water requires energy.
FACTS ABOUT WATER USE & CONSERVATION
- On average, a family of four uses approximately 400 gallons of water a day.
- Washing machines use, on average, about 40 gallons of water per full cycle.
- A five-minute shower uses 25 gallons of water.
- On average, 5 gallons of water are used each time a toilet is flushed.
- 50% of water may be lost to evaporation when a lawn is watered in full sun.
- On average, an American household uses about 260 gallons per day. During summer and peak water usage seasons, this climbs to around 1,000 gallons per day. Larger households and bigger properties can use as much as 3,000 gallons.
- Leaks around the home, can waste about 200 gallons per week. Fixing leaks can add up to about $50 in utility bill savings annually.
CCE compiled simple steps to take to help conserve water, reduce the amount of water that needs treatment, and reduce your water bill.
How big is your Water Footprint?
GRACE has recently launched a simple, commonsense "Water Footprint Calculator" as part of a public outreach campaign stressing the importance of conserving water. Understanding our own personal direct and indirect water consumption patterns can help us to each take the right steps toward ensuring a future where fresh, clean water is available to all.
Remember, every drop counts:
- Conserving Water in Your Home
- Conserving Water Around the Yard
- Smart, Green & Clean: Green Infrastructure & Water Conservation in your Community
- Additional Resources
Updated by tbono 10/6/11