Week 11: Cut Water Use

The Earth might seem like it has abundant water, but in fact less than 1 percent is available for human use. The rest is either salt water found in oceans, fresh water frozen in the polar ice caps, or too inaccessible for practical usage. While population and demand on freshwater resources are increasing, supply will always remain constant. And although it’s true that the water cycle continuously returns water to Earth, it is not always returned to the same place, or in the same quantity and quality.


As the global population increases, reliance on our finite water source is going to become strained – resulting in things such as more droughts, higher water prices, more summer watering restrictions, and a greater population experiencing water poverty (i.e. the amount of water available is less than the amount of water required to sustain life in that area). Since water is necessary for us to sustain life, we must learn how to conserve water and keep our water safe for future generations. That is why we are going to discuss ways to Cut Water Use this week.

How Much Water Do We Actually Use?

We have to admit, as Americans we are extremely fortunate to have access to some of the safest water in the world. We just turn on a tap and it flows freely. I think we too often take this readily accessible water for granted. In fact, Americans use, on average, more than 300 gallons of water per day at home. About 70% of this water is used indoors.

But that 300 gallons doesn’t tell the whole story. We also consume water in ways that we can’t see. Water is used to grow the food we eat, manufacture the goods we purchase, and keep the businesses running that we rely on.

As individuals and as a community we can take many actions in order to conserve this finite water supply we must share with the world. When we take a close look at the way we shop, eat, clean, landscape, shower, get rid of our waste, etc – we can find ways to cut back.

Start Here

Would you like to see how much water you consume? Try this Water Footprint Calculator. The end results may surprise you! But it also offers tips on ways you can cut your water usage in many different ways. Try incorporating some of the tips into your daily life and then head back to the calculator in a few months to see if your water footprint has decreased.

Learn More!

This week we will talk about why water conservation is so important and different ways we can cut our water use. Don’t forget to follow us on Facebook to keep up with the discussion!

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  1. Pingback: Sustainable BlacksburgWeek 19: Shared Community Resources

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