Did you know that water makes up 71% of the Earth’s surface? That means there must be an endless supply of it right? Wrong!
While water does cover the majority of the planet we call home, the fact is that it is NOT an unlimited resource and it is one that we must protect. The first thing to talk about when discussing water conservation is noting the difference between freshwater and saltwater.
Saltwater, which has a salinity score between 30-50 ppt (parts per thousand), may make up our oceans, but freshwater, which must meet a salinity of <.5 ppt, is much harder to find. Only about 0.5% of water on Earth is suitable for drinking without human interference. The rest must first pass through a water treatment plant where contaminants and/or salt are removed resulting in clean, drinkable water. With increasing populations all across the globe, the rate at which freshwater is being demanded is quickly outweighing the supply.
So, what can YOU do to help? There are several easy and convenient ways for you to help conserve water and reduce your
impact on the water supply.
1. Repair Visible Leaks- A leaky shower or faucet may not seem like an immediate
problem, but in reality it could be causing you to waste over 500 gallons of water a year! Fixing dripping pipes can save you money in the long run and help you to conserve your water consumption.
2. Make the Switch to Energy Star Appliances- These types of appliances meet criteria that reduces their energy AND water usage. For instance, an energy efficient washer machine uses 30% less water than traditional washers.
3. Make Smart Water Choices in the Kitchen- You can do a few things in the kitchen to help reduce water usage. First, you could opt to keep a pitcher of water in the fridge rather than having to run the tap until the water gets cold. Take this to the next level by infusing it with different fruits! Secondly, you can be strategic about only running the dishwasher when it is full and choosing not to rinse dishes before they enter the dishwasher. Most modern dishwasher manuals will actually tell you NOT to rinse the dishes as the machines are designed to clean stuck on food with less water.
These are just a few of the hundreds of ways that you can not only be more conscious about your water usage, but start taking steps to reduce your impact on the environment. We all call this beautiful planet home and we have a responsibility to do our part in keeping it safe, clean, and plentiful for generations to come.