Saturday, January 19, 2008
buttermilk falls ithaca, new york
i am not sure when water conservation fell out of 'vogue' but in this era of excess, it is more important than ever. we have heard of the droughts befalling parts of america- most notably the atlanta, georgia drought where the city's water reserves fell to about 3 month's worth recently- and the droughts that have been ongoing in australia for some time. conserving water in the face of increasing development is more important than ever.
what you don't tend to focus on as much is the fact that every ounce of water we waste runs off somewhere- and that somewhere is usually our fresh water supply (rivers, lakes, streams) or to the ocean if you live on a coast. what does that mean? every time we flush our toilets or do a load of laundry or take a shower, or every time it rains- many of our municipalities have a sewer treatment facility to handle the flow. the basic set up of most is to treat the wastewater and then set it free into the closest body of water- usually the source of clean water. so- using all of those phosphates and other cleansers in our homes and businesses, as well as wastewater runoff, pollutes the water- causing algal blooms that kill off fish and wildlife. it also poses a health issue for people who drink too many nitrates- so it is important to test your water periodically.
conserving water at home and limiting the amount of bottled water you buy is one step in the right direction- so what else can we do? your own home and life is the best place to start- from checking for leaky pipes to making a rain garden- there are lots of ways to conserve water and begin lessening your impact on the overall environment. enlisting friends and family to start is key to spreading the word- we may not be able to save the world all at once, but one person and one family at a time, makes a difference.
49 ways to save water
water sense program- USEPA
method products- Naturally-derived, biodegradable products such as household cleaners, supplies, laundry care, and soaps.
cross posted at the giving hands- on january 17, 2008