Conserving, preserving water


All water shown in this picture was consumed.

Normally when I write about water I talk about how we need to make sure we stay hydrated as part of being healthy.
Today’s post is about our responsibility as residents and citizens to protect this precious resource.
I grew up in the desert. So I’ve been mindful my whole life about water waste.
And I just left a state that is in now a drought (California).
Whether we live in the desert, a drought-dried state or in Oregon or Washington state we should be mindful of our water usage.
A friend on Facebook posted the other day that EBMUD (East Bay Municipal Utility District) “says you need to use no more than 35 gallons of water per day per person in your house.”
Curt and I got our water/trash/sewer bill the other day and it made me start thinking about our water usage.
According to the EBMUD website, a Stage 4 critical drought has been declared and a community-wide goal has been set to reduce water use 20% compared to 2013.
The EBMUD website lists mandatory restrictions and other information on how to reduce water usage. And as my friend stated, it also asks that customers strive for 35 gallons per person per day indoors.
We all know how big one gallon is, right?
According to ConserveH2O, more than 45% of water use in the average American home occurs in the bathroom, with nearly 27% being used by toilets. … Toilet water use can vary significantly.  Older toilets can use 3.5, 5, or even up to 7 gallons of water with every flush.  Federal plumbing standards now specify that new toilets can only use up to 1.6 gallons per flush.
According to Home Water Works, in an average home, showers are typically the third largest water use after toilets and clothes washers. The average American shower uses 17.2 gallons and lasts for 8.2 minutes at average flow rate of 2.1 gallons per minute.
The average dishwasher uses 6 gallons of water per cycle; the average Energy Star-rated dishwasher uses 4 gallons per cycle, according to Tree Hugger. Home Water Works says an older model dishwasher will use approximately 10 to 15 gallons of water per load.
I looked at our water usage for the month of March. I took into account the time we were out of town. We roughly used 42 gallons a day per person.
When we were still in Oakland we were mindful of the impending drought and looked for ways to reduce water usage, such as putting a brick in our (older) toilet tank, cutting back on watering our garden and the front area of our home, not using our dishwasher (which was old and a pain to use, but the water waste in that thing was insane).
I am not sure how we would have reduced anymore.
Water is precious and shouldn’t be taken for granted.
What are you doing to preserve it?