Water is fast becoming a limited natural resource….There are more than 326 million trillion gallons of water on Earth. Yet only 1% is fresh and available for human consumption. Water is unevenly distributed among the world’s population. Today more than one billion people lack access to safe, clean drinking water, and just 10 countries share 60 percent of the world’s natural, renewable water resources and that number is getting worse. Water supplies must be available to local populations in sufficient quantity and quality and without compromising local ecosystems. Unfortunately, this is not the case in most of the world.
Keeping existing water supplies healthy and sustainable is critically important and increasingly more difficult. Industrialization and population growth are escalating usage, while changing weather patterns are diminishing supply. Surface and groundwater supplies in some regions are already stressed by increasing demand as well as declining runoff and groundwater recharge. In some regions, climate change is increasing the likelihood of water shortages and competition for water. Water quality is diminishing in many areas, particularly due to increasing sediment and contaminant concentrations after heavy downpours. Heavy downpours and extended periods of precipitation are often followed by extended periods of extreme droughts. This taxes water treatment facilities and costs go up. Water is in the news more and more.
Saving and conserving water starts at home. It is the small things that you do every day that lead to change. Make a commitment and teach your children to use water efficiently, avoid waste and harvest rainwater.
For more information about water supplies http://growingblue.com/water-in-2050/
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The average household in the US uses about 250 gallons per day. Most of that water that has come though sophisticated water treatment plants is delivered to you by your local water authority. Seventy percent of that very costly preciously treated water, suitable for human consumption, is being used outdoors! Yet splashing off your roof is tens of thousands of gallons delicious fresh rainwater suitable (and in some cases preferred) for a multitude of uses. The less water that town has to deliver in stressful periods, the easier it is for them to manage [sometimes very old and overburdened] water treatment facilities. Furthermore, heavy down pours flood the storm drains and contaminate the existing water supplies. Keeping your drinking water clean and inexpensive is challenging. Water splashing off your roof could goes a long way to offset outdoor consumption and help towns manage their water supplies. Even if you are off the grid, that well water is tap into a common source that is shared by your community. That water needs to be protected and preserved. Harvesting rainwater and reducing water consumption is critical in helping your community manage water supplies.
If your water use is metered, review your water bill. Divide your water usage by the number of days in the billing period and also by the number of residents of your household. If your water is measured in cubic feet, convert to gallons by multiplying by 7.48.
If your water is not metered try this calculator:
If you live in a region that that has seasons where usage changes at different times of the year, compare the water bill from winter to summer and see how your usage increases.
Collecting rainwater is an ancient practice. And still common in areas that are used to scarce water supplies. Industrialized countries, with sophisticated engineering have been less likely to rely on more rudimentary resources such as home harvesting to run their households, but this is changing. Rain is free and your roof is a natural catchment area. Nearly 40% of your water is used outdoors, for uses such a lawn and garden and does not require treated water. In fact gardens and lawns prefer natural rain water. Rain barrels are a cheap and convenient way to make your home more cost efficient. One rain barrel attached to your downspout can provide you with approximately 1700 gallons of water that can be used outdoors for your flower and vegetable gardens, potted plants, to fill your pool, wash your car and any other outdoor use. While rain water collected in rain barrels is not potable, your plants will love it the chlorine free water. Just try washing your hair in it. You will not believe how gentle and soft it will be.