The Value of Water

Water is Irreplaceable

14% of our water use is consumed at work and home. Flushing the toilet takes up about a quarter of our water use at home. Older washing machines can use up to 50 gallons per load. Most of the water (virtual water) is used in manufacturing the products we buy (one pair of jeans takes more than 2,600 gallons of water to produce), and growing the food we eat (2.5 pounds of chocolate takes 6,300 gallons of water to produce) and the making beverages we drink (an 8 ounce cup of coffee uses up to 36.5 gallons of water). Our livelihood is dependent on water. We our responsible for how we consume water and how much we consume. It is our job to conserve as much water as we can. Here are 6 easy water saving tips:

  • Use a bucket and sponge instead of the hose to wash vehicles.
  • Take showers instead of baths.
  • Turn the tap off when brushing your teeth.
  • Wash dark clothes in cold water.
  • Fully load the dishwasher and clothes washer before running them.
  • Soak pots and pans in water while scrubbing them.

Conserving water is the first step in keeping our water supply full and to ensure that future generations will have access to clean, safe drinking water.

Water is Shared

Currently, less than 1% of the earth's water is available for our use. Expanding population and drought worsens the accessibility of available water. About 780 million people currently do not have access to safe drinking water, 2 billion people do not have access to sanitation and 1 billion still practice open defecation. As people and businesses try to find a way to get clean safe drinking water and sanitation services to those who do not have it is important that those of us who do have access to safe drinking water clean and safe sanitary conditions, take personal responsibility and do what it takes to conserve water. Water is essential for the way we live and is essential for staying alive.

Water is Precious

About 30 water main pipes break every single hour in the United States. The U.S. Geological Survey estimates that over 1.7 trillion gallons of treated drinkable water are lost each year due to broken pipes. Fixing the broken pipes is not a priority for most Americans as only 40% view the current infrastructure as an important issue. Pipes last from 50 to 130 years. This is a serious issue as the average age of a water main pipe is 49 years. Because of this, in 2013, the US Society of Civil Engineers graded both the water and wastewater infrastructures with a "D". The infrastructures are not being fixed because of funding. It is estimated that it will take 1 trillion dollars over the course of 25 years to replace and expand the water infrastructure. It will take another 298 billion dollars over the course of 20 years to replace and expand the wastewater infrastructure as well as the stormwater infrastructures. Some progress has started with the installation of smart meters that help consumers monitor and conserve water and help water service providers to detect leaks more effectively and efficiently.