One way we’re reducing water waste is by installing water meters. Water meters tell you how much water you’re using. It might not sound like much, but studies have shown people are more likely to cut back on water use (or power use, for that matter) if they’re able to keep track of how much they’re using.
As environmental sustainability issues move increasingly to the forefront of public discourse, nonprofit organizations and NGOs are working to educate the public on topics like water conservation. There are a number of ways we can all individually work to reduce the amount of water we waste, simply by doing things like not running the water while we wash dishes. Some helpful tips can be found at this site:
The EPA also imposes federal water efficiency requirements to ensure conservative measures are being taken by public facilities that supply water.
States like Arizona and California that frequently experience drought conditions have imposed limits on watering lawns and other water usage activities for several years now. Other efforts I have seen are centered largely on attempts to spread awareness of how individuals can limit their water use. The US Department of Agriculture, for example, has several pages on its website devoted to water conservation for both the home and the agriculture business. The prevailing wisdom seems to be that individuals, not government or other large entities, have to be actively engaged in conservation efforts in order for them to have any impact.
Other solutions are coming from the technology sector, with companies designing faucets and other equipment that are designed to limit water usage. One such device is featured here: http://inventorspot.com/articles/one_liter_limit_elegant_faucet_solution_water_waste. I like this idea in particular because it is both aesthetically pleasing and it limits water usage with out the annoying qualities of automatic and timed faucets by allowing the user more control over water flow.
Some people, especially in arid regions, are getting use out of their homes’ “greywater.” Greywater is the water that comes from our washing machines and sinks. This water can be used to flush your toilets or irrigate lawns and ornamental plants.
Others use barrels to catch rainwater that can be used to water your lawns and gardens.
One really good product to invest in that saves both water and money is an energy efficient shower head. They reduce the water flow, thus reducing the amount of water used as well as the amount of energy needed to heat the water for the shower. Most conventional shower heads deliver 2.5 gallons of water per minute, while most energy efficient heads deliver 2 or fewer. I have one in my apartment, and have never had a problem with reduced water pressure—the one I use is well-designed and has an even spray that still has a nice amount of pressure while delivering 2 gallons per minute.
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