It seems like everyone is talking about water these days. We take water for granted most of the time, we don't even think about our consumption because much of the time we have plenty. But when it stops falling from the sky or flowing in our riverbeds we start paying attention pronto. And for good reason; Blanco County is an agricultural and rural county. Water is a vital element of survival for our ranches, crops and the bountiful nature that surrounds us.
Some of us are now practicing water conservation. In a previous column, you may have read about my experimental efforts to catch rain with five gallon buckets. I harvested around 20 gallons during a brief ten minute shower. Sounds like a lot but guess what? According to Robert Famighetti in The World Almanac, the average human uses approximately one hundred and twenty three gallons of water PER DAY.
In the most wasteful examples of Mr. Famighetti's research, people who brush their teeth and leave on the water (who leaves on the water in this day and age?!) use up to one to two gallons per brushing. There's an easy solution to that wasteful practice: turn off the water while you brush your teeth. Shaving was first on the list as the most wasteful of practices. If you leave the water running while you shave at the sink, you waste up to fifteen to 20 gallons of water. In my rain catchment experiment, I collected 20 gallons in about 10 minutes of rain. I worked hard to get that amount and use it. To think that men in the U.S. over eighteen (who number around 225,746,457) are shaving almost every day and are each wasting even half of that much water, well, the number of unused gallons of clean water is mind boggling.
We must retrain ourselves. Clean drinking water is a finite resource. As human population grows, and it is growing by the hundreds of thousands daily, our clean water supplies are not.
What you wash down the drain, unused, and pay dearly for could benefit you and your budget in the long run. It is time to think about water.