While it is true that water doesn’t disappear from the water cycle with use, it is important to consider the details of water use and flow. The water that you have coming through your faucet comes from limited sources, and has gone through processes to get there in a form that is safe for your consumption. Then, when it goes down your sink or drain, it has an effect on where it goes next. For example, reducing your water usage can reduce the flow through waste water treatment plants, and avoid overwhelming sewage systems. When sewage systems are overwhelmed, the overflow can enter our lakes and rivers, with negative downstream effects. Also, freshwater is a limited resource, with many groundwater sources, or aquifers, being depleted faster than they are replenished.
Water is not technically ‘wasted’ because according to the law of conservation of mass, matter cannot be either created or destroyed. Water that goes down pipes is sent to a water treatment facility or a septic system. Transporting and treating water is expensive and requires a lot of energy. In areas that are prone to drought, water must be sourced from far-away reservoirs, which contributes to the harmful environmental effects. In addition, water goes through a natural cycle, meaning some of it is evaporated or soaked into the ground before reaching the treatment facility.
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