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Home > Natural Resources > Water Strategies to Preserve Natural Resource Supplies and Quality

Save Water With a Few Simple Conservation Strategies

Save Water With a Few Simple Conservation Strategies

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California water conservation measurement with metering Across the country, our growing population is putting stress on available water supplies. Between 1950 and 2000, the U.S. population increased nearly 90 percent. However, in that same period, public demand for water increased 209 percent! Americans now use an average of 100 gallons of water each day—enough to fill 1,600 drinking glasses! This increased demand has put additional stress on water supplies and distribution systems, threatening both human health and the environment.

There's a reason that water has become a national priority. A recent government survey showed at least 36 states are anticipating local, regional, or statewide water shortages by 2013. But by using water more efficiently, we can help preserve water supplies for future generations, save money, and protect the environment. WaterSense is making it easier to identify water-efficient products and practices. Remember: Every drop counts!

Some solutions...

  • Landscape Irrigation with Drip Irrigation
  • Weather- or Sensor-Based Irrigation Control Technologies
  • Bathroom Sink Faucets with Aerators
  • Showerheads with Aerators
  • High-Efficiency Toilets and Waterless Urinals
  • Plant Low-Water and Drought Tolerant Landscaping
  • Reduce runoff during rain

Water and Dollar Savings From Installing High-Efficiency Faucets and Faucet Aerators

Installing high-efficiency faucets or faucet aerators could reduce a faucet water consumption by more than 500 gallons annually, with a payback of as little as one year, and could save between 2,850 and 8,500 gallons and as much as $50 over the lifetime of the product.

How Does Excessive Water Use Affect Water Quality?

The demand for water in the United States creates the need to build dams, dig wells, and make withdrawals from our natural water bodies. Using too much water also significantly contributes to "nonpoint source pollution." This is when water moves across the ground, collecting pollutants from various sources, and eventually depositing them into our drinking water. Failing to use water efficiently can hurt our water supply by:
  • Altering stream flows due to excessive withdrawals.
  • Causing saltwater to intrude into freshwater aquifers due to excessive withdrawals.
  • Increasing the amount of dirty runoff water that flows into natural water supplies. This runoff water carries sediments, nutrients, salts and other pollutants and can be caused, among other things, by overirrigating urban landscapes or farm fields. Nutrients such as nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium are naturally occurring, but habitats can be destroyed when excess amounts of any one nutrient, especially phosphorus, are concentrated in the soil or water.
  • Creating the need to build additional dams. Dams generate nonpoint source pollution by trapping sediment and other pollutants, affecting water quality both upstream and downstream. This concentrates pollutants, causes sediment in the river to pile up, decreases dissolved oxygen, and alters water temperatures.

MORE SOLUTIONS: EPA WaterSense



Edited by Carolyn Allen, owner/editor of California Green Solutions
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