Focus on Biogeochemical Cycles: Challenges and Solutions Personal Water Use
Have you ever wondered where fresh water comes from? Water appears to be plentiful in our oceans, lakes, ponds, and rivers. However, this is deceptive. The real fact is, fresh water is unequally distributed throughout the world, and accessible freshwater is in increasingly short supply. Growing produce, watering livestock, running industrial processes, brushing teeth, washing hands, using the commode, taking a shower people rely on clean water to do these and many other activities every day. What would you do without clean water?
As you learn more about the world’s water supply, the treatment methods used to clean water, and the systems that help make clean water more available, think about these words from environmentalist and renowned ocean explorer Jacques Cousteau: “We forget that the water cycle and the life cycle are one.”
This week’s Discussion asks you to note your personal water use, challenges you to reduce your water consumption, and reflect on ways that our society can better manage this precious resource.
To prepare for this Discussion
- Review and use one of the Water Footprint calculators shown here:
- If you share a home with others, consider how much more water your entire household uses.
- Reflect on the ways that you use water. Be sure to consider both direct water usage and the use of virtual water that is embodied in many of the products and services that you consume.
- Reflect on how your own use of water as well as society-wide water usage patterns can be improved. Consider how we can better manage this resource.
With these thoughts in mind, complete the following:
Respond back to at least two of your colleagues’ or professor’s postings in a substantive manner, meaning a minimum of 1 full paragraph. Simple “I agree,” “Good post,” or one-line question posts are not enough for full credit. Be substantive as you engage your colleagues.
Research Requirement: Be sure to support your ideas by connecting them to authoritative scientific information sources. Every week you are expected to conduct independent research (beyond the course resources). Cite your research sources and include links whenever possible.
Using the water calculator, I found that my water footprint for me personally is 1,830 gallons a day and for my family is 7, 320 gallons a day. I learned that we are well about average because the average is 1,802 a day. I said that there are four people in my household which is myself and my three children. We bathe or shower everyday and we definitely do not let it mellow as they say. It says that my average on showers were 33 gallons while the US average is only 11 gallons. It also says that my toilet usage is 25 gallons while the average is 14 gallons.
According to the water calculator, they say that I can reduce water usage in many ways. For example, I can put a bucket in the shower to fill up while I heat the water and use that water for flushing the toilet or cleaning. Next, spend less time taking a shower take a radio and try to get my shower time limit to one song. Then, I can turn off the water as I brush my teeth and wash my face or do both while in the shower . Finally, I can use a bath as a treat and shower and it will save more gallons a day.
There are so many ways us as a society can save on water. For example, we all can use a high efficiency washing machine so that less water is used to wash clothes. We can use low flow showerheads and sink faucets. We can take shorter showers and less baths. We can install composting toilets in our homes. We can buy high efficiency appliances to save on water in our homes and limit our water usage anyway we can in home or outside.
I have learned that we as a society have so much work to do to correct or even help the hurt that we have put on our planet over the years. We can do so much to make it better. For example, we can conserve our water as we have discussed and recycle, but the main thing is we need to teach our future generations how to better help. We need to look at all the ways that we are hurting and as a society come together to help. We need to volunteer to clean up our cities and towns. Not only are we hurting our planet for the future generations, we are also hurting many animals and their homes in the process. We need to make a stand and do better because if we do not this planet will not survive much more.
RE: Week 4 Discussion – Water Footprint and Usage Wow!
The water footprint through me for a loop. I never realized how much water I was using in a day. Total personal was 1195 gallons a day just for me, then my household of 3 people use 3586 gallons a day of water. That is some crazy stuff. I never really thought about using water in driving, shopping, or even the food I eat or my pet eats. Examples are just washing the dishes once a day I use 20 gallons a day, and to take a shower I use 33 gallons a day, electricity I use 42 gallons a day and just for shopping for the basics I use 291 gallons a day this is insane to me (Water Footprint Calculator, 2019). Before I use anything and wonder how much water I am using when I do it for long periods of time, I will really think before using anything.
I feel that I can reduce my water usage by washing dishes less frequently and maybe go to washing every other day because sometimes I only wash a few pieces a day. Another way to reduce is when in the bathroom, make sure the water is off while brushing your teeth or shaving. I can also save on laundry costs and wash fewer loads, my son has a bad habit of using a different towel each day, and he can really stop that. I could shop less; also, I did not realize the water it took to shop or even make the things we need.
We can also save energy from our water heaters by turning the water off while not in use. Also, when we buy appliances that we use, we need to look for energy star products to cut the water in half. Even the water sense products are helpful as well because not only do they save water but help on your electric bill (US EPA, OW, 2019). Using these products could also help the environment in which we live; we need to learn how to conserve our resources.
As a society/community, we can reduce water usage by saving on agriculture or irrigation. Reducing the water waste in the runoff or through evapotranspiration, or making irrigation water more structured. We can save water in the industry by reusing water or by using saltwater. We can fix water leaks in businesses and our homes. Use water as an efficient form of energy for electricity such as wind, solar, or natural gas (Better Meets Reality, 2019). We can also reduce water usage by making small daily changes, and we can recycle our wastewater by purifying the water. Take incentives on rebates to make your house more energy efficient from your water supplier.
Better Meets Reality. (2019, February 6). How To Save Water In Society/As A Community (3 Solutions) – Better Meets Reality. Better Meets Reality. https://www.bettermeetsreality.com/how-to-save-water-in-society-as-a-community-areas-to-focus-on/
US EPA, OW. (2019, April 19). Start Saving | US EPA. US EPA. https://www.epa.gov/watersense/start-saving
Water Footprint Calculator. (2019). GRACEs Water Footprint Calculator. Watercalculator.org. https://www.watercalculator.org/wfc2/complete/