Water Conservation is Key During California Drought

Water Conservation is Key During California Drought

Gabrielle Abad, Writer

Raise your hand if you’ve seen a sign on the freeway saying something like, “CONSERVE WATER” or “CALIFORNIA IN DROUGHT.” This should be everyone, if you live in California.

These signs are not up there for no reason. Lots of people ignore the signs and drive on, continuing their day. However, did you know that if we don’t conserve water, the consequences go directly back to us?

Let’s start off with the top 3 household usages of water: showers, toilets, and faucets.

water from a showerhead – pexels image

Showers are pretty self explanatory; the shorter shower you take, the more water you conserve. According to the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) the average shower takes about 8 minutes, equating to about 17 gallons of water, and the average bath uses 30 gallons. According to board-certified dermatologist Dr. Edidiong Kaminska, MD, if you take more than 10 minutes for your shower, it might be a good idea to rethink your shower routine because it is plenty of time for cleansing without overdoing it (essentially wasting water).

There’s not much you can really conserve more with toilets, but next time you get one installed, think about the different toilet options that use less water with every flush. Newer models are most likely to conserve more water than older models, so it is important to be mindful about toilet varieties.

washing hands under running faucet – photo by pexels

Lastly, faucets are another way to easily conserve water. I’m sure we all either before or currently have kept our faucets running when we’re not using it, such as brushing our teeth or washing our face. It might seem insignificant to turn our faucet off for 1 minute while we are not using it while brushing our teeth. However, in keeping with the tragedy of the commons, if we leave the water on and everyone else decides it is also ok to leave the water on for 1 minute as well, that would mean 7.753 billion people leaving their faucet on for 1 minute, twice a day. It adds up annually.

Now, how does this all really affect you? Water is a limited supply, so every drop that you use, could have been used for something more important. In California, we do not have enough water to nourish crops and animals, so if it gets excessive, there will be a drop in supply for your favorite meats and vegetables. If not, then the quality of food will drop instead, causing illnesses and a shift in the economy. Wildfires will become more abundant (the Fairview Fire being one example), and we will experience a drop in air quality. Climate change is already changing rapidly, but with conservation, we can slow it down. Remember, water is a privilege not a right.