Water -Wise Ways

From National Garden Clubs Inc.

Protecting Our  World

“The amount of water on Earth now is about the same as it was millions  of years ago.  Water regulates the Earth’s temperature.  It also regulates the temperature of the human  body. Less than 2% of the Earth’s water supply is fresh water.

Of all the earth’s water, 97% is salt water found in oceans and seas.

Only 1% of the earth’s water is available for drinking water.  The remaining 2% is frozen.

The human body is about 75% water.

A person can survive about a month without food, but only 5 to 7 days without water.

Every day in the United States, we drink about 110 million gallons of water.

Landscaping accounts for about half the water used at home.  Showers account for another

18 percent, while toilets use about 20 percent.

Showering and bathing are the largest indoor uses (27%) of water domestically

There are 7.48 gallons in a cubic foot of water.  Therefore, 2000 cubic feet of water is 14,560 gallons.

An acre foot of water is about 326,000 gallons.  One-half acre foot is enough to meet the needs of a typical family for a year.

It takes 3.3 acre feet of water to grow enough food for an average family for a year.

A leaky faucet can waste 100 gallons a day.

If every household in America had a faucet that dripped once each second, 928 million gallons of water a day would leak away.

One flush of the toilet uses 6 ½ gallons of water.

An average family of four uses 881 gallons of water per week just by flushing the toilet.

Avoid flushing the toilet unnecessarily.  Dispose of tissues, insects and other such waste in the trash rather than the toilet.

An average bath requires 37 gallons of water.

The average 5-minute shower takes 15 to 25 gallons water – around 40 gallons are used in 10 minutes.

Take short showers instead of baths.

You use about 5 gallons of water if you leave the water running while brushing your teeth or shaving.

The use of water-saving toilets, showerheads, and faucet aerators can result in a 45% savings in water use.

Each person needs to drink about 2 ½ quarts (80 ounces) of water every day.

Store drinking water in the refrigerator rather than letting the faucet run every time you want a cool glass of water.

You don’t need to buy bottled water for health reasons if your drinking water meets all of the federal, state and local drinking water standards.  Bottled water can cost up to 1000 times more than municipal drinking water.

You can refill an 8-oz. glass of water approximately 15,000 times for the same cost as a six-pack of soda pop.

A dairy cow must drink 4 gallons of water to produce 1 gallon of milk.

Run your dishwasher and washing machine only when they are full.

A top-loading clothes washer uses between 40 and 55 gallons of water per load.  Front-loading models use roughly half that amount.

When washing dishes by hand, fill one sink or basin with soapy water.  Quickly rinse under a slow-moving stream from the faucet.

Never put water down the drain when there may be another use for it such as watering a plant or garden, or cleaning.

An automatic dishwasher uses 9 to 12 gallons of water while hand washing dishes can use up to 20 gallons.

Use a bowl of water to clean fruits and vegetables rather than running water over them.  You can reuse this for your houseplants.

If you water your grass and trees more heavily, but less often, this saves water and builds stronger roots.

Water your lawn only when it needs it.  If you step on the grass and it springs back up when you move, it doesn’t need water.  If it stays flat, it does need water.

Water lawns during the early morning hours or evening when temperatures and wind speed are the lowest.  This reduces losses from evaporation.

Running a sprinkler for 2 hours can use up to 500 gallons of water. Up to 90% of water used to sprinkle lawns can be lost to the atmosphere through evaporation

Use a rain catch system (rain barrel) and use natural rain water for watering in the yard

Do not hose down your driveway or sidewalk.  Use a broom to clean leaves and other debris from these areas.  Using a hose to clean a driveway uses about 50 gallons of water every 5 minutes.

When washing a car, use soap and water from a bucket.  Use a hose with a shut-off nozzle for rinsing.  As much as 150 gallons of water can be saved by turning off the hose between rinses.

Public water suppliers process 38 billion gallons of water per day for domestic and public use.

Approximately 1 million miles of pipelines and aqueducts carry water in the United States and Canada.  That’s enough pipe to circle the earth 40 times.

About 800,000 water wells are drilled each year in the United States for domestic, farming, commercial, and water testing purposes.

More than 13 million households get their water from their own private wells and are responsible for

Treating And pumping the water themselves.

Industries released 197 million pounds of toxic chemicals into waterways in 1990.

300 million gallons of water are needed to produce a single day’s supply of U. S. newsprint.

One inch of rainfall drops 7,000 gallons or nearly 30 tons of water on a 60’ by 180’ piece of land.

No drips

A dripping faucet can waste 20 gallons of water a day.  A leaking toilet can use 90,000 gallons of water in a month.  Get out the wrench and change the washers on your sinks and showers, or get new washer less faucets.  Keeping your existing equipment well maintained is probably the easiest and cheapest way to start saving water.
Install new fixtures

New, low-volume or dual flush toilets, low-flow showerheads, water-efficient dishwashers and clothes washing machines can all save a great deal of water and money.  Aerators on yours faucets can significantly reduce water volume; water-saving showerheads can cut the volume of water used down to 1.2 gallons per minute or less.  Splurging on a low-flow toilet could save another 50 to 80 gallons of water a day.  Together, those changes could cut the household’s daily use of water by nearly one-half – saving a considerable amount of water and money.
Cultivate good water habits

All the water that goes down the drain, clean or dirty, ends up mixing with raw sewage, getting contaminated, and meeting the same fate.  Try to stay aware of this precious resource disappearing.  Turn off the water while brushing your teeth or shaving; wash laundry and dishes with full loads; take shorter showers, etc.
Stay off the bottle

By many measures, bottled water is a scam.  Bottled water is not as well regulated as municipal water and often is not even particularly pure.  Much bottled water is just tap water anyway.  Bottled water is more expensive per gallon than gasoline and incurs a huge carbon footprint from it transportation.  The discarded bottles are a blight in the landscape and the landfill.  If you want to carry water with you, use a refillable bottle.
Go beyond the lawn

Naturalize your lawn using locally appropriate plants that are hardy and don’t need a lot of water.  Water in the coolest part of the day to minimize evaporation.  Drip irrigation is a better choice than using a sprinkler system.
Harvest your rainwater

Put a rain barrel on your downspouts and use this water for irrigation.  Rain cisterns come in all shapes and sizes ranging from larger underground systems to smaller, freestanding ones.
Harvest your grey water

Water that has been used at least once but is still clean enough for other jobs is called greywater.  Water from sinks, showers, dishwashers, and clothes washers are the most common household examples.  (Toilet water is often called “blackwater” and needs a different level of treatment before it can be used.)  Greywater can be recycled with practical plumbing systems (such as Aqus) or with simple practices such as emptying the fish tank in the garden instead of the sink.  The bottom line?  One way or another, avoid putting water down the drain when you can use it for something else.
At the car wash

Car washes are often more efficient than home washing and the water is treated rather than letting it go straight into the sewer system.  Check to make sure that they clean and recycle the later.
Keep your eyes open

Report broken pipes, open hydrants, and excessive water waste.  Don’t be shy about pointing out leaks to your friends and family members, either.  They might have turned out the dripping sound a long time ago.
Don’t spike the punch

Water sources have to be protected.  In many closed loop systems like those in cities in the Great Lakes, waste water is returned to the Lake that fresh water comes out of.  Don’t pout chemicals down drains, or flush drugs down toilets; it could come back in diluted form in your water.

Source:  Planet Green – A Discovery Company

National Garden Clubs, Inc., believes it is imperative that we support and undertake proactive initiatives for the protection, conservation and restoration of the quality of the nation’s coastal waters, wetlands, aquifers, watersheds, lakes, rivers and streams, through educational programs, conservation efforts, increased advocacy and partnerships with related government agencies, and state and national grassroots water coalitions.”

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National Garden Clubs, Inc. Water Conservation Platform

Adopted October 4, 2008

2 thoughts on “Water -Wise Ways

  1. “You don’t need to buy bottled water for health reasons if your drinking water meets all of the federal, state and local drinking water standards.”

    Like chlorine and fluoride to give you cancer, dumb you down and make you malleable? No thanks. Good home filter first; or kiosk-filtered water from a trusted source such as the local health food store.

  2. RO-filtered water feels much better on the skin than the whatever-it-is that comes out of my tap. I also shook it to oxygenate/energize it. Only tried it for the last two days, but my skin (which is very sensitive — breaks out with the slightest amount of dairy or gluten) is definitely looking smoother even though I’ve broken my allergy diet.

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