Joe Cooper

General Manager

Middle Trinity Groundwater Conservation District

MTGCD

Water is a limited resource. Growth in population and industry continually increase our demand. If we do not take measures to conserve and protect it, water can quickly become scarce and more costly.

Many people believe that we have plenty of water; after all, we are surrounded by it. However, most water is not drinkable. Only 3% of the earthís water is fresh water and 2/3 of this is bound up in glaciers and icecaps. That leaves only 1% of the worldís water available for drinking.

On average, each American uses 60 gallons of water every day. Where does all that water go? Approximately 28% is flushed, 23% for laundry, 19% for showers or baths, 15% through faucets, 12% is leaks, and 3% for dishwashers. There are many things we can do around the house to conserve water, and if we all do them, the aggregate result can reduce our water consumption by up to 30%.

Letís start indoors. Donít use your toilet as a trash receptacle and flush only when necessary. Take quick showers of five minutes or less and install a water saving showerhead. Keep a bucket in the shower and reuse the water for cleaning jobs. Wash only full loads of dishes and clothes. Keep chilled drinking water in the refrigerator; donít run the tap. Check your pipes, faucets and toilets for leaks and then repair them. A pinhole leak wastes up to 170 gallons a day. Finally, consider insulating your hot water heaters and pipes to save water and conserve energy.

Now letís go outdoors. Use a broom, not the hose to clean sidewalks and driveways. When watering the lawn, keep water off of the pavement. Save rain from your gutters and use it for watering plants; even better, fertilize them with old water from a fish tank. Finally, consider mulching your lawn to minimize evaporation and reduce the need to irrigate.

Following the above steps to conserve water leads to additional savings. We save money on our water and utility bills, sewer, and septic costs. We save energy by reducing the amount of hot water we use and by saving electricity used to pump water. We save the environment by easing the burden on conveyance, treatment, storage and distribution facilities.†

As we enjoy our precious water resources, we should each feel a responsibility to help protect them. Its just the right thing to do.