Charlotte Water Conservation Tips
People always talk about conserving water and protecting the environment, but for many it isn’t clear why this is the case. After all, isn’t water a naturally occurring resource that recycles itself in nature through evaporation and precipitation? This may be true, but there are lots of other reasons to conserve the water we use in our lives.
Though it may seem limitless, only 3% of the water on Earth is fresh (unsalted) and suitable for human consumption. However, of that 3%, the majority is frozen in the icecaps and glaciers on our planet. The rest is trapped underground in aquifers and the water table – largely inaccessible unless it seeps to the surface via springs or wells that are tapped deep into the ground. Three percent quickly becomes .3% of fresh, aboveground water – the kind that populates rivers, lakes and swamps. That’s just .3% of Earth’s life-bestowing water to tend to seven billion humans and billions more animals and organisms!
When you begin to examine how that fresh, useable water is used by humans, conservation becomes key. Consider the water that flows into your home. It doesn’t come directly out of a lake or river – it’s treated, processed and transported to you. By reducing the amount of water you use in your home, you are effectively contributing to the reduction of the amount of water being treated. That reduces freshwater consumption in general, sure, but it also reduces some of the pollution and energy usage that occurs at a water treatment plant. If everyone limited their use, it would make a huge difference given the fact that an area’s supply of that freshwater is far more finite than you might think, especially as population increases.
Some simple ways to reduce your water consumption (saving you money and the environment’s health, too!) are:
- Install a low flow showerhead in bathrooms – this can reduce consumption by four gallons per minute. You can even buy ones that have “pause” functions so you don’t have to turn the whole shower off to save water while you wash or shave.
- Low flow toilets are extremely effective at saving water as well – up to 60% less water is used per flush after you install.
- Don’t run the water if you wash dishes by hand – fill one side of the sink with soapy water for washing and rinse everything at once on the other side of the sink when you’re done.
- Garden in the fall when temperatures are cooler and you don’t need to water as much. Plant succulent plants that don’t require tons of water and use mulch when landscaping to retain more moisture.
- Throw away or compost waste items in the kitchen to avoid using the disposal and running extra water.
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