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.
Storing water in case of an emergency is a good idea. Having a reserve enables people to weather emergencies and minor service disruptions. A backup source of water is essential for emergency preparedness, three days without water will lead to death from dehydration, but serious and lifelong complications can occur well before you die from dehydration. Did you know that water sometimes needs to be retreated because clean water becomes contaminated? Water typically gets re-contaminated as people use water and they aren’t careful enough to prevent re-contamination, think about when you are washing up, hands are dirty and that leads to contamination of your stored water. Also a lot of stored water is stored for a long time “in case of emergency”. The problem with long term storage is the disinfectant residual deteriorates with time, reducing the water’s ability to prevent bacterial growth.
Preventing contamination is easier than removing contamination. Leave your stored water is a sealed and preferably airtight container. This physical barrier will stop bacteria in the environment from coming into contact with your drinking water. Next is to only open your reservoir with clean hands. Preferably washed with soap and water. It is better to pour the water you need for clean up before you make a mess. This is actually very important when you go to the bathroom, microscopic pieces of fecal matter on your hands will transfer to everything you touch, including the spigot/lid of your reservoir. Bacteria in that fecal matter will travel up the spigot into the water, it will only be a matter of time. Clean hands and routinely cleaning the exterior of your water storage tank/bottle/container/reservoir are essential to prevent contamination.