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  • Threat 5 Water Quantity

    Threat #5 Water quantity

    Dry_river_bed_in_CaliforniaWithout water, we couldn’t fish.

    And neither could we live. Every living thing on the planet needs water to survive.

    Yet we have a limited supply. The planet has no more water now than it did when dinosaurs roamed. And it will have no more centuries into the future.  Water circulates in a closed hydrological cycle, evaporating into the atmosphere where it condenses into precipitation and falls to the earth again.

    Additionally, only about 3 percent is fresh water, with much of that locked up in polar ice caps and glaciers. About 95 percent of the world’s unfrozen fresh water exists as ground water, with the remainder filling our lakes and rivers.

    Dry-River-2Incredibly, we waste about 30 percent of our water in this country, with much of it lost when it is sprayed into the air for irrigation. But Americans also are water wasteful in their everyday lives.

    Do you leave the water running while you brush your teeth? If so, you are pouring 1.5 gallons a minute down the drain.

    How many times a week does your family wash clothes? One cycle takes 30 to 35 gallons. A dishwasher, meanwhile, requires about 25 gallons.

    When you shower, you use 2.5 gallons a minute; a bath typically takes 50 gallons. One flush of a regular toilet requires 3.5, while a low-flow needs 1.6.

    And what about that leaky faucet that you intend to fix, but never do? According to the U.S. Geological Survey, 15,140 drips equal a gallon.

    Dry-RiverThat doesn’t seem too wasteful — until you consider all of the others who also have the best of intentions but never fix their leaky faucets either. A drop a minute leaking from one million faucets wastes 95,112 gallons a day and an incredible 34,715,984 gallons a year.

    As good stewards, we can make a big difference in conserving this precious and finite resource through small improvements in how we use water in our everyday lives.

    Solution: Find ways to save water at home and in your yard and garden. Some aren’t as obvious. The food we eat, the clothes we wear, and how we get around plays a big part, because our lifestyle runs downstream.

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