Vice President of Marketing and Business Development for Amiad Filtration Systems
Posted: March 22, 2011 11:58 AM
He brings attention here to less obvious ways to conserve water.
Read your water bill. As water reserves dwindle, water rates will steadily rise meaning saving water will save you even more money
Irrigate Less. In the world at large, about 70% of water used by mankind goes for irrigation, 20% for industry and 10% to public consumption. The average home is a microcosm of this with 70% of the water going to irrigate lawns and gardens, 20% for bathing, clothes-washing and toilet flushing, the rest for drinking and cooking. Better management of home water for irrigation -- like xeriscape landscaping, choosing low water vegetation, and drip irrigation practices -- can save the largest expenditures of water in a home.
Eat more vegetables. Not only is this healthy (read Michael Pollan's In Defense of Food), but getting more nutritional value from non-meat sources saves a lot of water. It takes a little over 100 gallons of water to produce one pound of corn while a 16-ounce steak is equivalent to 2000 gallons of water (think about over 30 55-gallon drums of water sitting on your plate!) based on the amount required to feed, raise, slaughter, and transport the beef.
Buy things that last. Besides water embedded in food products (see www.waterfootprint.org) our throw-away society has produced landfills full of discarded products, making them vast reservoirs of entombed water. Landfills have an additional impact when their runoff contaminates groundwater reserves.
Conserve electricity. It takes a tremendous amount of water to cool nuclear power plants, to pump oil from its underground deposits, to scrub coal-fired furnaces, and to grow and process biofuels. Save electricity and you save water.
Recycle. It takes an enormous amount of water (not to mention energy -- see above) to produce paper, aluminum and glass by extracting virgin raw materials from the earth. Our society should take William McDonough's advice from his book Cradle to Cradle and design every product to become the feedstock of another product after its useful life.
Drive less. According to Michael Webber in his 2008 Scientific American article, "Catch 22: Water vs. Energy," driving 100 miles in a gasoline-powered auto consumes between seven and 14 gallons of water. And while alternative fuel vehicles like hybrids, hydrogen fuel-cell and ethanol cars use less petroleum, they deplete significantly more water than traditional automobiles. Walking, riding a bike, taking public transportation all help with water conservation.