Conserving water makes sense on many levels. It saves money, it is better for the environment and it helps people become more self reliant and better prepared for emergencies. The less water you use the less we take from the environment, the less we need for day to day use, the less we need in an emergency, the less we need to have stored or our stores will last longer and finally the less water we have to pay for (pumping, treatment, water bill).
There are many suggestions on how to use less water, I will not come anywhere close to a complete list. The first step to water conservation is being aware of how much water we are using and then searching for ways to use less. The two general types of changes people can make to conserve water are behavioral changes and changes from investing in new equipment/technology.
Behavioral changes all stem from a consciouses of the volume of water used at the time of use. Having a thirty minute shower uses more water than a twenty-five or twenty minute shower, cutting down the time will save significantly the amount of water we consume each year. The simplest thing to do is to minimize the time your faucets are on and the water just goes down the drain, this water is completely wasted. Eliminating the water that goes straight to waste is simple and we don’t have to sacrifice anything, all we do is small things like open the faucet into a cup, and shutting the faucet when the cup is full. This philosophy applies to all our faucet use, brushing our teeth, shaving, cleaning and even bathing. You may even notice an energy saving on your hot water use as you will also use less hot water.
During an emergency, using less water is paramount. Once we are dependent on our backup source, we don’t know how long we will need it to keep us alive. Less water will be wasted by people who practice conserving water day to day. Practice makes perfect, it will be second nature to them. Our chances of long term survival through any emergency/catastrophe in rely on our ability to use less water and waste as little water as possible.
Technological changes towards water conservation are not always as expensive as you might think. Something as simple as a few bricks in a toilet tank will reduce the water used with each flush.
Adding aerators to your faucets also reduces flow. Aerators force the water through a straining device which causes a backlog of water behind it, kind of like a metal detector at an airport. Everyone from a huge hallway must walk through a tiny archway, creating a long line up of people on one side. In the same amount of time fewer people can go through a metal detector then if there were no metal detector at all.
If there is ample pressure in the system you get your water from you can install a pressure regulating valve to reduce the water pressure in your plumbing. You don’t have to drop significantly to see a savings here, even just a few PSI can result in a lot less water used. Pressure is the push of water through the pipes, this is what makes water flow through the city and out of your faucet. Less pressure means less water gets pushed out of your faucet in the same amount of time.
You can spend a lot of money and buy low flow appliances or in some cases waterless appliances like a composting toilet. I am not suggesting you go out and change all your appliances now, but when they need replacing, consider the low flow versions.
There are many blog and journal articles online with great tips on how to save water and use less water. There are way too many ways to save water to list here. A simple websearch will lead you to tons of information on HOW to save water, I hope this article has convinced you for the WHY (and some of the how).