In the coming years, the US is expected to face extreme water shortages. In 2012, the United States Department of Agriculture declared natural disaster areas in more than 1,000 counties and 26 states experience drought conditions. Our country is getting warmer and we are continually facing water shortages. Part of this problem is that according to Food and Water Watch, the average American uses 1,190 gallons of water per day. There are some simple, more obvious solutions for Americans to cut their water usage. Shorter showers, filling up the dishwasher completely before you run it, and turning off the faucet when you brush your teeth are all ways to reduce the amount of water you use in a day. However, there are more, hidden water culprits that you may not be aware of. It takes 4,000 to 18,000 gallons of water to produce one hamburger, so reducing your meat intake may be a good way to also start reducing your water consumption. Additionally, half of the water we use goes to power generation, therefore renewable sources like solar and wind are a great way to reduce water usage. There are also water smart appliances, such as water-saving shower heads, low-flow toilets, and faucet aerators can all reduce the amount of water you use in a day. Even if it doesn’t seem like much, if we all reduce our water consumption by just a little, we can make a big impact for the country.
Written by: Lauren Henry, class of 2014
Photo by: Sergiu Bacioiu from Romania (Water Drop – Explored) [CC-BY-2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons