5 Convenient Water Saving Techniques

In developed countries water isn’t much of an issue, it’s something everyone just has. It’s cheap and conveniently transported directly into our homes! Here are 5 tips on how you can conveniently conserve your water usage.

Tip: Keep track of your past water bills, and every dollar you save can be used to reward yourself!

1. Fill up your dishwasher!

Dishwashers use  lots of water. Try waiting until your dishwasher is completely full before running it. This is very convenient since you’ll save time and moey in hassling with dishes!

2. Set a timer when you shower.

If you take long hot showers in the winter, sometimes you just don’t want to get out. It takes only a couple seconds to set a timer on your smart phone. Place your phone just out of reach from the shower so you will have to get out and stop your shower. Start with 15 minutes and work your way down by one minute every week.

3. Paste, Brush, Rinse.

We should brush our teeth twice a day. Common water saving technique is to only run the water when you rinse your toothbrush. This can save on average 3-6 gallons of water per brush by turning it off!

4. Check the weather.

Simple solution is to check the weather daily, besides you need to be prepared for what mother nature brings. Checking the weather allows to turn off automated sprinkler systems, or not do manual watering. If you know rain is coming you don’t need to water your yard! Install a weather application on your phone and enable weather alerts for rain.

5. Drink what you need.

Many of us might fill an entire glass of water up, but dump half of it down the drain. Overtime, this can add up to hundreds of gallons of water per year. Try paying attention during each cup fill. If you find your self dumping some of your water down the drain, next time only fill up 75% or even 50% of the cup with water.

Water & Energy Paradox

In order for us to produce energy, we need to use massive amounts of water. But to use water, we need a great deal of energy to process the water. Let’s take a look at how much water is used to supply power to America.

According to the United States Geological Survey, over 45% of water water-withdrawl-category-pie-2010consumed per day is used to power America. Water is the main component in the ability to cool a thermoelectric power plant. Typically these plants are found along medium to large sized rivers, or lakes. 99% of the water is drawn from surface water. While some of the consumed water can be reused, less than half of the plants use such technology. According to the department of energy 41.9% use recirculating systems. However, on average 3,891 gallons per minute evaporate in such systems. This means the current implementation has a significant loss of water rather than reintroduced in it’s original source.

Unfortunately, to use water requires a great deal of energy. We can identify three areas in which energy is spent in the water process. The first one being the transportation of water. Pumping 17,000ft³ at the height of 330ft requires about 200kWh of electricity. This is a significant amount of energy considering the vast distances that water must be transported in every American municipality. The second area is in water heating. This is typically about 15% of the energy bill in a home. Finally, we need to transport wastewater and treat it. In California it can be between 475-1400kWh of energy to treat 300,000 gallons of water.

In a world of constrained resources, and increase demand we cannot look past this paradox. A great example of this problem is the concern of desalination plants in California. It would cost about 14kWh per 0.3 Million Gallons per day just to convert sea water into drinkable water. After that, the other three areas of energy consumption for the water process mentioned earlier gets applied.

As we can see from this analysis, energy and water complement each other. We cannot have one without another. This calls for close cooperation between water and energy organizations.

 

Sources

Total Water Use. USGS, 9 Dec. 2016, water.usgs.gov/watuse/wuto.html.
Thermoelectric Power Water Use. USGS, 9 Dec. 2016, water.usgs.gov/watuse/wupt.html.
Water Usage in Coal to Power Applications. National Energy Technology Laboratory, www.netl.doe.gov/research/Coal/energy-systems/gasification/gasifipedia/water-usage.
Water and Energy Relationship. Alliance for Water Efficiency, www.home-water-works.org/energy-water.
Seawater Desalination Power Consumption. Water Reuse Association, Nov. 2011, watereuse.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/10/Power_consumption_white_paper.pdf.