If we all agree that water is a precious resource essential for life, then why are we abusing the way we use it? A human being needs about five gallons of water a day to survive – water used for consumption and sanitation. The average American uses more than 151 gallons of water per day with a household usage of nearly 370 gallons per day. This weighty number is due to the nonchalant attitude we have toward water – that water is more than abundant, a renewable resource that won’t ever run out. If we continue to practice the misuse of water, however, we will find ourselves thirsty, that once abundant source of water, dry.
Illustrations by Jennifer Yoko Thorbjornsen
The average household uses nearly 370 gallons of waterper day. Here is where it all goes:
Watering your lawn:
Water used: 5 to 10 gallons per minute when hose is on.
Average use: 15 minutes.
Wastes: Up to 150 gallons.
Conserve! Water your garden every other day. Also, water either early in the morning or late in the afternoon when the climate is cooler.
Saves: Up to 40 gallons.
Water used: 3.5 to 6 gallons per flush
Average use: Six times per day
Wastes: Up to 36 gallons
Conserve! Installing an ultra-low flush toilet earns you a rebate. If minor construction isn’t your thing, placing a brick or bending the rod with attached floater ball downwards in your toilet tank will trick your tank into thinking it’s full when in fact, you’ve only displaced the water.
Saves: Up to 18 gallons.
Water used: 2.5 to 4 gallons per minute
Average use: The average shower lasts ten minutes
Wastes: Up to 40 gallons
Conserve! Take shorter showers and turn off water when lathering
Saves: Up to 20 gallons.
NEARLY 70 PERCENT OF THE WORLD’S SURFACE IS MADE UP OF WATER, THOUGH 97.5 PERCENT OF ALL WATER PRESENT ON EARTH IS UNFIT TO DRINK, LEAVING ONLY 2.5 PERCENT OF WATER CONSUMABLE. OF THAT, ONE-THIRD IS FROZEN IN THE FORM OF GLACIERS AND POLAR ICE. THAT LEAVES THE ALMOST SEVEN BILLION PEOPLE OF THE WORLD TO SHARE ONLY ONE PERCENT OF CONSUMABLE WATER. LET’S CONSERVE OUR WATER FOR FURTURE GENERATIONS.
Water used: 2 to 7 gallons per minute
Average use: Varies (Brushing teeth, washing dishes, washing hands, etc.)
Wastes: Up to 140 gallons.
Conserve! Turn the faucet off when not in use. Running the water while brushing your teeth or shaving is wasteful. Also, energy star dishwashers are more efficient than hand washing dishes. If you have to hand wash dishes however, fill the bin with hot water and wash all dishes, rinse and air dry.