World Water Day Calls Attention to Water Concerns
Dripping faucets, running toilets, and other leaks results in the US wasting a trillion gallons of water each year according to the Environmental Protection Agency. That’s equivalent to 10,000 gallons for the average American family and it is enough water to fill a backyard swimming pool. The UN hopes that World Water Day international observance will help call attention to the need to conserve our precious water supplies and that all will participate.
UN sponsored international observance
The international observance of World Water Day is an initiative that grew out of the 1992 United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED) in Rio de Janeiro according to the UN web site of the same name.
The UN sponsored site, UN-Water, “…has chosen ''Clean Water for a Healthy World" as theme for World Water Day 2010. The overall goal of the World Water Day on 22 March 2010 campaign is to raise the profile of water quality at the political level so that water quality considerations are made alongside those of water quantity.”
EPA tips and guidelines
In keeping with their part the US EPA has offered some guidelines and tips to aid citizens in preserving and maintaining our water quality and supply. Several are repeated here.
Detecting and fixing leaks can be as simple as putting a small drop of food coloring in the water closet tamk. If the color shows up in the toilet bowl within 15 minutes without flushing, that shows that you have a leak. EPA also says fixing these household leaks may lower water bills in excess of 10%.
They provide other tips and guides on other ways to conserve water, too. If building or remodeling a house or apartment, you'll save water and money by installing low-flow plumbing fixtures, dual-flush toilets, tankless water heaters, and rain barrels or cisterns. All of these tips are easy to do and will pay for themselves through reduced water bills over time.
However, there are other ways to save water without an outlay of dollars. Several cost-free changes that will help your budget and the environment are possible.
Tips on conserving water
The conservation group, Water-Use It Wisely, has offered a 100-plus tips, many that don't cost a cent. Here's several that you can try:
For cold drinks, keep a pitcher of water in the refrigerator instead of running the tap.
Water your lawn and garden in the morning or evening when temperatures are cooler to minimize evaporation. Don't do it on windy days when most of the water blows away or evaporates.
Wash your fruits and vegetables in a pan of water instead of running water from the tap. Then reuse the water for houseplants.
Adjust your lawn mower to a higher setting. A taller lawn shades roots and holds soil moisture better than if it is closely clipped.
When running a bath, plug the tub before turning the water on, then adjust the temperature as the tub fills up.
When washing dishes by hand, don't let the water run while rinsing. Fill one sink with wash water and the other with rinse water.
Run your clothes washer and dishwasher only when they are full. If not full, match the water level to the size of the load.
Turn off the water while brushing your teeth and save 25 gallons a month. If you turn it off while washing your hair, you'll save up to 150 gallons a month.
Adjust sprinklers so only your lawn is watered and not the house, sidewalk, or street. Use them only for large grass areas. Water small patches by hand to avoid waste.
Use the garbage disposal sparingly. Compost vegetable food waste instead and save gallons every time.
Designate one glass for your drinking water each day or refill a water bottle. This will cut down on the number of glasses to wash.
Soak pots and pans instead of letting the water run while you scrape them clean.
Do your part
The United Nations General Assembly adopted a resolution designating March 22 of each year as the World Day for Water. Do your part each year by conserving water and not only will you save on your household expenses, you will help your kids and grandkids in the years ahead, not counting the other less fortunate world wide. Conserve that water.
USA Today, March 22, 2010