Water is at the core of sustainable development and is critical for socio-economic development, energy, and food production, healthy ecosystems and for human survival itself… [it is also] serving as the crucial link between society and the environment says the United Nations (UN). The importance of water can be overlooked given that we see water everywhere, however, only 3% of the earth’s water is fresh, of that 2.5% is unavailable… locked up in glaciers, polar ice caps, atmosphere, and soil; highly polluted, or lies too far under the earth's surface to be extracted at an affordable cost.
We use water constantly throughout the day, an average American family uses more than 300 gallons of water per day at home. We are ALSO wasting water every day and lots of it. Below are 5 ways we are Wasting Water at home:
- Not Fixing the Leaks
According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the average family in America can waste 180 gallons per week, or 9,400 gallons of water annually, from household leaks. That's equivalent to the amount of water needed to wash more than 300 loads of laundry. Household leaks can waste approximately nearly 900 billion gallons of water annually nationwide.
- Running Half-Full Appliances
The EPA also reported that when you run your dishwasher when it is fully loaded, you can eliminate one load of dishes per week… saving the average family nearly 320 gallons of water annually. Additionally, when you run half a load of laundry your washer will use the same amount of water as it does when you run when it is fully loaded, about 35-50 gallons per load.
- Overwatering Your Lawn
It is estimated that 50 percent of the water we use outdoors goes to waste from evaporation, wind, or runoff due to overwatering.
- Leaving the Faucets ON
Whether it is leaving the faucet ON while you’re brushing your teeth or while you’re washing the dishes, you are wasting water. EPA estimates that running your faucet for even five minutes while washing dishes can waste 10 gallons of water! Additionally, just by turning off the faucet while you brush your teeth can save 8 gallons of water a day.
- Taking Long Shower
One bath may need up to 70 gallons of water while one shower can take 10-25 gallons. You can save up to 700 gallons of water per month if you were to reduce your shower time by just 1-2 minutes. Using low flow showerhead can help save up to 800 gallons of water per month.
What can you do to save water? Check your local water district on how you can save water. The EPA also has an informative directory on how you can save water HERE.