Water conservation made simple

There are many, many ways in which we can preserve water, beginning with our own daily habits.

03/21/2012


Several years ago when I was working at a municipal government publication, I wrote an article about water conservation, and the fact that the United States doesn’t have a specific government body dedicated to it. Fast-forward to today, and that still holds true. While we have the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and its WaterSense program, the U.S. Dept. of Energy, and several other organizations dedicated to preserving natural resources, we still don’t have an agency dedicated to the one thing that nearly every living creature needs—water.

 

This month’s cover story (10 ways to save water in commercial buildings) is dedicated to the topic of water conservation in commercial buildings. While this is one of the top areas where Americans squander water (think of that leaky sink in your workplace bathroom), it’s just a start. There are many, many ways in which we can preserve water, beginning with our own daily habits.

 

Here’s my own top 10 list of how to save water in your daily life. I myself have put all of these ideas into play in my own home, and many of them can be used both personally and professionally.

 

1. Install low-flow faucets and dual-flush toilets.

2. Turn off the water when you’re not actively using it, like while you’re brushing your teeth.

3.Invest in xeriscaping your garden, and use less water to irrigate.

4. Purchase approved appliances that use less water than their counterparts.

5. Shorten your shower by a minute or two, and save gallons.

6. Collect rainwater to irrigate the garden or turf.

7. Use the same glass or bottle to drink water out of for the day. This saves water and energy in washing dishes. (Reusable bottles and glasses are even better—don’t use disposable plastic.)

8. Use commercial car washes that recycle water and dispose of wastewater properly.

9. Insulate hot water pipes to save heat energy so you don’t have to run water as long to warm it up.

10. Use a dropped ice cube to irrigate a houseplant; don’t dispose of the ice cube down the drain.

 

Conservation and the recycling of resources is a simple and effective way to “boost” our supply of resources. Each of us needs water for daily life, and we have a finite supply, so let’s find as many ways as possible to save it.



No comments
Consulting-Specifying Engineer's Product of the Year (POY) contest is the premier award for new products in the HVAC, fire, electrical, and...
Consulting-Specifying Engineer magazine is dedicated to encouraging and recognizing the most talented young individuals...
The MEP Giants program lists the top mechanical, electrical, plumbing, and fire protection engineering firms in the United States.
Water use efficiency: Diminishing water quality, escalating costs; Lowering building energy use; Power for fire pumps
Building envelope and integration; Manufacturing industrial Q&A; NFPA 99; Testing fire systems
Labs and research facilities: Q&A with the experts; Water heating systems; Smart building integration; 40 Under 40 winners
Maintaining low data center PUE; Using eco mode in UPS systems; Commissioning electrical and power systems; Exploring dc power distribution alternatives
Protecting standby generators for mission critical facilities; Selecting energy-efficient transformers; Integrating power monitoring systems; Mitigating harmonics in electrical systems
Commissioning electrical systems in mission critical facilities; Anticipating the Smart Grid; Mitigating arc flash hazards in medium-voltage switchgear; Comparing generator sizing software
As brand protection manager for Eaton’s Electrical Sector, Tom Grace oversees counterfeit awareness...
Amara Rozgus is chief editor and content manager of Consulting-Specifier Engineer magazine.
IEEE power industry experts bring their combined experience in the electrical power industry...
Michael Heinsdorf, P.E., LEED AP, CDT is an Engineering Specification Writer at ARCOM MasterSpec.