March is half over, and I’ve just found out it’s World Water Month—with World Water Day coming up on March 22nd.
As to why this information isn’t as widely blasted across media, like what Kim Kardashian ate for dinner, I am not sure—I guess it’s more important to survival watching others extravagantly dine, then it is to worry about our own access to clean water. Good information is out there, but we have to look for it.
However, this is not a rant about our blind assumption that we will always have water. Instead, it is merely meant as a means to share a few simple steps that we can all take to help the world water crisis.
Water is not an unlimited resource.
I know it seems so, and in America we barely give thought to how lucky we are having clean water at the turn of a faucet. It wasn’t until I traveled the world and oceans—and lived on limited supplies—that I truly realized how blessed we are.
I currently live in L.A.—and we are one of the worst cities for water usage. California is desert, and there aren’t meant to be lush green lawns here. It’s the only city in the U.S. that was built without it’s own water source. All other cities have rivers, lakes and reservoirs. I have witnessed the drying up of what was once the Mighty Owens River—it is now a stream compared to what it once was. Google a satellite view of the Truckee River Basin and take a look at where the dock is meant to meet the water, versus where the water actually is.
Water shortage is real, and I can’t stress this enough. I share my experience so we can recognize the issue is real. We need to stop pretending it doesn’t exist.
Did you know?
A 10 minute shower uses 40 gallons of water!
5 gallons of water are wasted when we brush our teeth.
Landscape irrigation accounts for 60% of home water use.
An estimated 50% of water used in irrigation is wasted due to runoff and evaporation.
A leaky, running toilet can waste up to 200 gallons of water in one day.
The average family in America uses 320 gallons per day.
1 pound of beef produced requires 1,800 gallons of water.
Here are five simple tips to help curb our use. If we all do our part, it will add up. Plus, if we curb our use, it will reflect in smaller bills, and who doesn’t want extra cash each month?
1. Shorten showers to five minutes or less and limit baths. Do you have to wash your hair everyday?
2. Install low-flow toilets and shower heads. This will cut your water bill down as well.
3. Fix any leaky plumbing. A single leaky toilet can waste as much as 200 gallons of water per day.
4. Don’t throw anything down the toilet that doesn’t belong there. (Bodily fluids and TP only please!)
5. Convert your yard to be drought and desert friendly. There are plants, rocks and other lovely landscapes that can thrive with little water.
**Bonus! This is the challenging tip, for those who really want to take charge of their actions: Cut back on beef consumption. (Or stop all together.) One pound less beef consumed saves 1,800 gallons of water—you do the math.
I know it seems like one person doesn’t make a difference, but if we all say that, then there never will be a difference. Collectively we can make a difference. The time for talking and complaining is past, and it’s time for action.
I encourage everyone to love the earth as you love your own life. Join in on March 22, and take the Skip A Shower Pledge, because #EveryDropCounts.
Share your own tips for water conservation in the comments below and on social media. Use #EveryDropCounts and let the world know.
Author: Lindsay Carricarte
Editor: Yoli Ramazzina
Photo: Unsplash/Jadon Barnes