Isn't Water Renewable? So Why Conserve?
We've all heard that fun fact about how the water you drink today could be the same water a dinosaur drank millions of years ago. In fact, there’s always the chance that the water you drink could be—dinosaur pee!
It’s true that there's a finite amount of water no matter what we do. The amount of water on Earth will always remain the same. We can’t run out of water because water continuously works its way through the water cycle. It’s a renewable resource.
(Check out this Crash Course video to follow the path of water from stream to dinosaur pee to George Washington’s sweat to you!)
But if the amount of water on earth stays the same forever, why should we conserve water? Why are places such as Cape Town, South Africa, suffering from an extreme lack of water?
Water moves through the water cycle, and each stage of the water cycle takes different amounts of time to complete. That means, water can sometimes be hard to access. Water spends a very brief amount of time as rain or snow, but water in lakes can take decades to cycle through. Water in oceans or trapped in glaciers takes even longer, up to thousands of years!
Water fall can vary widely even in the same state. Take California for example. When it rains there, 75 percent of the rain falls in the northern part of the state, while 75 percent of water demand is in the southern part of the state, where the farms are located.
So, in areas of little or no precipitation, water becomes almost non-renewable. Once the water is used up, it doesn’t return for a long, long time.
This is why we need to think as a global community and conserve!
10 Easy Ways to Conserve Water!
- Don’t let the water run while rinsing dishes, and soak pots and pans instead of letting the water run while you scrape them clean.
- Adjust sprinklers so only your lawn is watered and not the house, sidewalk, or street.
- Run your clothes washer and dishwasher only when they are full. You can save up to 1,000 gallons a month.
- Use the garbage disposal sparingly. Compost vegetable food waste instead and save gallons every time.
- For cold drinks keep a pitcher of water in the refrigerator instead of running the tap. This way, every drop goes down you and not the drain.
- Water your lawn and garden in the morning or evening when temperatures are cooler to minimize evaporation.
- Use a broom instead of a hose to clean your driveway and sidewalk and save water every time.
- If your shower fills a one-gallon bucket in less than 20 seconds, replace the showerhead with a water-efficient model.
- Shorten your shower by a minute or two and you'll save up to 150 gallons per month.
- Water your plants deeply but less frequently to encourage deep root growth and drought tolerance.
What are your go-to water conservation ideas?