Wednesday, May 25, 2011


That is the question that plagued me this morning as I took our dog for a walk. 

Why are the sprinklers running in so many of the yards in our neighborhood when yesterday and throughout the night we received significant downpours which thoroughly nourished our lawns?

I kept walking and I kept counting the houses whose already soaked lawns were being watered.

Maybe your house was one of them, maybe you have meant to put a water sensor on your sprinkler system, but just haven’t gotten around to it. 

Why not?

I don’t have an underground sprinkler system so I looked to see if maybe a water sensor is cost-prohibitive…well, that didn’t seem to be the case.  In fact I found quite a few that are very affordable and some that are even on sale.  Here is where I found the products:

So, why waste water?  Why stress our lawns with too much water?  Let’s all do our part to be wise about our water use.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Moms and Water--What's the Connection?

As another Mother’s Day has just come and gone, I was reflecting on how precious our moms are to us.  They are the driving force behind every family.  How does water come into this picture?  Just like moms, water is a very precious resource that is also the driving force behind everything we do on this earth. 

Below is a quiz to test your knowledge of water use in your home and suggestions to conserve water.  Good luck--answers are below!

Happy belated Mother’s Day!  Give your Mom a hug—water used = 0!

1. The average family of four uses approximately __ gallons of water per day?

A. 50
B. 100
C. 250
D. 400

2. How much water can you save per day by turning off the tap while brushing your teeth in the morning and at bedtime?

A. Up to 2 gallons
B. Up to 4 gallons
C. Up to 8 gallons
D. Up to 6 gallons

3. Which of the following uses less water?

A. Taking a five minute shower
B. Taking a bath

4. In the average household, which of the following wastes the MOST water per day?

A. Running the tap while washing dishes
B. Using a garbage disposal
C. A leaky toilet
D. Long showers

5. How much water is saved per flush with a high-efficiency toilet?

A. 0.6 to 1.9 gallons
B. 2.2 to 5.7 gallons
C. More than 6 gallons

6. Which of the following uses less water?

A. Washing dishes under a running tap
B. Washing dishes in a fully loaded automatic dishwasher without pre-rinsing

7. High-efficiency washing machines save about how much water per load compared to traditional models?

A. 2-5 gallons
B. 7-10 gallons
C. 11-13 gallons
D. 14 gallons or more

8. Easily corrected household water leaks account for what percentage of the average water bill?

A. 2%
B. 4%
C. 6%
D. 8%

Answer Key

1. D
It may seem hard to believe, but the average person uses 100 gallons of water each day—that's enough to fill 1,600 drinking glasses. This water use can easily be cut by as much as 30 percent if American households took a few simple steps to use water more efficiently.
2. C
The average bathroom faucet flows at a rate of 2 gallons per minute; by simply turning the tap off, you can save more than 100 gallons of water per person each month.
3. A
Taking a five minute shower uses 10 to 25 gallons of water, while a full tub requires about 70 gallons. If you take a bath, stopper the drain immediately and adjust the temperature as you fill the tub.
4. C
A leaky toilet can waste about 200 gallons of water every day! To tell if your toilet is leaking, place a drop of food coloring in the tank; if the color shows in the bowl without flushing, you have a leak.
5. B
If your toilet is from 1992 or earlier, you probably have an inefficient model that uses between 3.5 to 7 gallons per flush. New high-efficiency models use less than 1.3 gallons per flush—that's 60 to 80 percent less water than their less efficient counterparts.
6. B
To waste the least amount of water in the kitchen, operate your automatic dishwasher only when it's fully loaded. Filling the sink or a bowl instead of running water can save an average of 25 gallons.
7. D
High-efficiency washing machines use less than 27 gallons of water per load, compared to traditional models that use an average of 41 gallons. To achieve even greater savings, adjust water levels in the washing machine to match the size of the load.
8. D
Leaky faucets that drip at the rate of one drip per second can waste up to 3,000 gallons of water each year. If you're unsure if you have a leak, read your water meter before and after a two-hour period when no water is being used. If the meter does not read exactly the same, you probably have a leak.

Quiz was taken from WaterSense, a US EPA Partnership Program

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Water: Can We Juggle All the Needs Without Dropping the Ball?

As a child I was always amazed by the person who could juggle multiple balls or other objects without ever letting one fall – each one getting the attention it needed at the precise moment that it was needed.  Now, as an adult I see all of the needs we have for water and wonder how we will be able to juggle this limited resource so that we can meet each of the needs.

Think about it, we need water for drinking, water for bathing, water for growing the food we eat, water for recreation, water for cleaning our homes, and probably many more items that don’t come to mind right now.  How will we ensure that there is enough water to meet each of these important and in some cases vital needs?  Remember it’s a finite resource.  We can’t make more.

So what are the solutions?  Is it new technologies?  Figuring out how to do more with the same amount of water?  Changing our wasteful behaviors?  Or is it a juggling act that includes a variety of solutions, each getting the attention needed at the precise moment it is needed?