Water Water Everywhere, Why Bother Conserving?

#WorldWaterDay is today, March 22. This is a day where we take a closer look at our water consumption habits and see what we can do to increase reduction (that makes sense, right?) However, looking at my driveway currently covered under a foot of snow and ice, I can make a general statement that we are nowhere near using up our allotment of earthly freshwater (less than 1% of all water, btw). Therefore, I declare that we must drink and use up as much water as we can.

In fact, since there is an abundance of water (an…overflow, if you will) I decided to see in what ways I could increase my family’s water consumption. Drinking more water equals less water (snow up here) that will fall on my driveway. Here’s a couple ideas that could help. Feel free to use them, too!

lowflowshowerhead

Low-flow showerheads can conserve lots of water.

Let’s start at the home. My kids are limited to ten minute showers. We definitely want to stay away from those low-flow shower heads that average only 1.5 gallons per minute. That would only use up 15 gallons per shower! If we want to get anywhere, we’ve got to use an average shower head, which run at 2.5 gallons per minute. That would equal about 25 gallons each shower. Just imagine the water used if I allowed longer showers! 

That’s a good start but I think we can do better.

Looking at the low cost of tap water, I figure we need to start drinking from bottles exclusively. I stumbled on the answer to the question: How can I get my family to drink more water more expensively. There is a company that offers up a “bottled water of the month” club where you can buy by the case. But, that’s not gonna do it for us! I want to buy by the pallet! 

caseofwater

You can have this 24 .5 liter case of water for the low low cost of 88 liters to make.

Since I have eight people in my family, and each person will drink 1.9 liters per day, I’m thinking that to fill our needs for drinking and cooking, we’d need 38 cases for the month (and, of course, we’d prefer sparkling!) At approximately 70 cases per pallet, we’d be going through one every two months. The monthly rate is $30 per case per month which totals approx. $1,140 a month before shipping. That’s a huge difference when considering the minuscule costs of using mere tap water. 

At a rate of $.0025 per gallon, we’d spend a measly thirty cents a month if we drank only tap water. So! Not only can we drink bottled water from the Scottish highlands (shipped to us across the ocean), but we also get to pay much more than regular old tap water.

This is a fantastic opportunity for me, I realize. Not only do I get to drink the beautifully spring-fed naturally derived concoction, but I can take into consideration the water used in the creation of the bottles! Three numbers can be added together to give us a better look at how much water I’d be using. First, the make the bottles themselves (we’ll use plastic), it can take around 6-7 liters to make a liter bottle. Let’s stick with 6. A much smaller amount of only 1.39 liters of water is needed to complete the bottling process. If we add the water to be actually drunk by my family, you’re looking at 8.39 liters for every liter consumed in my house. That sounds like a sure way to use up more water! 

But, I think there’s more I can do to increase my water usage.

I know! I’ve heard of people suggesting that harvesting rainwater to water their lawns and flowerbeds. That’s rubbish. I’ve got my very own sprinklers and water hoses that can do the trick. I bet if I left my sprinkler on all night (and all day and all night, etc.) I’d have the most lush, the most soft, and the most walkable lawn in south Brainerd.

gardens2015

You can see the berms (and swales) that HDT put in their yard. They follow the contour of the landscape, increasing water retention which keeps more water on the property.

Never mind that collecting rain water through rain barrels and high berms on your property will essentially negate the need for extra water for your lawn and garden. We’ve got water to use up, remember!

With these methods in place, I think we can clean off my driveway. It will take a concerted effort from everyone, but in the end it’s worth it! So, please ignore the pleas from those leftist hippies who argue that there is only so much drinkable water on the planet. Ignore the gripping pictures of those children that must lug filthy unfiltered water for hours instead of going to school.

Just remember that if we all do our part, there will be clean driveways for everyone. No more will we have to suffer through a winter (and snow!), even this far north.

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