If We Don’t Conserve, We Will Be Fish Out of Water
Up to 60 percent of our bodies are made up of it, and our beautiful blue planet boasts over 70 percent of it—water—without it, we would cease to exist. Even though we live on the water planet, only 3.5 percent is fresh water. That is why it is so important to conserve this vital and life-giving resource.
According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the average American family uses 320 gallons of water per day, about 30 percent for outdoor uses, but in places like Texas, that number can skyrocket to 60 percent. Nationwide, landscape irrigation is estimated to account for nearly one-third of all residential water use, totaling to nearly 9 billion gallons per day.
Not only is water a precious natural resource, it is one that comes with a price tag. To reduce your household’s usage, plant native shrubs and vegetation that traditionally do not need a lot of water to thrive. Check out the EPA’s free guide to landscaping tips.
Another way to save water is from Mother Nature. Water harvesting offers an excellent source of high quality water for potable and non-potable use. Unlike groundwater pumping, rainwater harvesting does not use a lot of energy. Generally, rainwater is collected from a house’s roof and filtered into a storage container. One inch of rain can equate to more than 1,000 gallons of water on a 2,000-square-foot roof! You can use the online Texas A&M Rainwater Calculator to estimate how much rainwater you could collect at your house.
Looking for one small change that can make a big impact on reducing your home water usage? Swap out old toilets for new versions. The EPA says toilets are the main culprit of water usage in the home and account for nearly 30 percent of an average home’s indoor water consumption. Older toilets can use as much as 6 gallons per flush. By installing new, efficient toilets, you can save nearly 5 gallons per flush that translates to a yearly savings of $110 and 13,000 gallons of water!
By incorporating native plants in your landscape, collecting rainwater, and installing new toilets, we can all reduce our water footprint.