Sometimes, after a long period without much rain, and especially in the heat of summer, cornfields and other crops may appear dry and shriveled and even fail to produce while streams that were flowing and full of water and life just a few months before may become dry patches of land instead. This is a drought, and during these times, it is important for everyone to conserve water as much as they can.
Water is a precious resource. All living things depend on water to survive. Unfortunately, few of us think much about the importance of water until it is in limited supply. To help you appreciate just how important water is to all of us, here are a few interesting facts:
- Without water there could be no life. We live on a "water planet." When viewed from space, Earth is blue and white. The blue is the oceans, and the white is water vapor.
- The human body is about 75% water.
- Tomatoes are 90% water, potatoes are 80% water, and chickens are 75% water.
- Less than 2% of the Earth's water supply is fresh water.
- Nearly 50% of the world's population lacks access to clean water for sanitation, drinking, and other needs.
- You can save 5 gallons of water a day just by turning off the faucet when you brush your teeth.
- Almost two-thirds of home water use is for toilet flushing and bathing.
- A leaky faucet can waste 100 gallons of water a day.
- One newspaper a day means the use of 66,000 gallons of water a day.
- It takes 6 gallons of water to produce one gallon of gasoline.
- About 75% of your brain is water--use it wisely to learn to make water conservation an everyday habit.
Follow these DOs and DON'Ts to save hundreds of gallons of water per week!
IN THE BATHROOM:
- DO fill the bath tub only halfway and save 10-15 gallons.
- DO take shorter showers and save 3-5 gallons of water a minute.
- DON'T use the toilet as a waste basket. Throw trash in a trash basket and avoid flushing unnecessarily.
- DON'T leave the water running when you brush your teeth or wash your hands or face. Faucets use about 2-3 gallons every minute.
IN THE KITCHEN AND LAUNDRY:
- DO make sure the dishwasher is full before turning it on. Dishwashers use between 8 and 12 gallons of water per load.
- DO make sure your clothes washer is full before turning it on. Each load of laundry usually requires 50 gallons or more of water.
- DO use a bowl of water to clean fruits and vegetables rather than running water over them. Reuse the water in the bowl to water your houseplants.
- DO store drinking water in the refrigerator rather than letting the tap run every time you want a cool glass of water.
- DON'T let the water run when washing dishes.
IN THE GARDEN:
- DO use a self-closing nozzle on your garden hose.
- DO use native plants in your garden (plants that normally grow in the area you live and do not need a lot of water or care).
- DON'T water gardens or lawns during the heat of day. Up to 90% of the water you use is lost through evaporation.
- DON'T use water to clean off your sidewalks or driveways--use a broom and sweep them instead.
REMEMBER... Never pour water down a drain if it can be used for something else such as watering a garden or cleaning. Educate and encourage your family, friends, neighbors, and school to practice water conservation Try to do one thing each day to conserve water. EVERY DROP COUNTS.