Do You Conserve Water?

And how do you do it if you do? Drinking water's one resource that many have been warning is about to start running out since we're doing doing a lot to conserve it, so I was wondering how people are doing this, if at all. I don't mean gadgets, I mean habits. I grew up in an environment where water was treated as an infinite resource and I had to learn to conserve it later with little things like not letting the faucet run while I brush my teeth, showering more quickly (there was an additional incentive from frequent and unscheduled water supply outages there), stuff like that. 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

(edited)

Safe drinking water is already a huge issue for many of us in the US. We have water restrictions every summer here in Texas that only permit washing cars or watering lawns on certain days according to the last digit on your property's address. Irrigating landscaping is a tremendous water hog and our municipalities can't keep up with demand in the summer months. Many places have started using treated wastewater for irrigating parks and golf courses but not everywhere yet since it is expensive to install these systems. This takes a big load off the drinking water system and is a better use of the treated water than dumping it into the local river but we still run low every summer and thus the restrictions. 

Texas has seen such explosive growth in the last 50 years that our water demand is greater now than the rainfall we collect in our lakes and aquifers. 

 

R2020

Edited by MUI
  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Go stay in Singapore for a bit, you will very quickly learn about conserving water.

"NEWater is the brand name given to reclaimed water produced by Singapore's Public Utilities Board. More specifically, it is treated wastewater (sewage) that has been purified using dual-membrane (via microfiltration and reverse osmosis) and ultraviolet technologies, in addition to conventional water treatment processes. The water is potable and is consumed by humans, but is mostly used by industries requiring high purity water."

  • Like 1
  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Some of us remember a bumper sticker - "Conserve water, drink Jack Daniel's".

  • Haha 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yes, part of my conservation efforts involve drinking beer instead of water. It's not like I need a lot to stay hydrated.

@MUI this sounds bad, I'm very sorry to hear it. The very idea of using drinking water for golf courses is revolting, I have to admit.

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

(edited)

 Used to work at wastewater treatment plants and I am going to take a different angle at this. If you are putting water down the drain you aren't wasting it, it gets recycled at a wastewater plant. Generally WTP feedstock comes from a natural source and the recycled treated water goes back to the same source. The public gets a little uneasy if they think they are drinking and showering in the same water you shit and piss in. Well you are. If you discharge water into the ground say watering a lawn some of that replenishes the ground water. Again it's not lost forever. It's when fresh water goes into the ocean its lost forever. Like when vancouver island sends its effluent into the ocean, then has to put water bans in the summer because of shortages. They are almost now finished building a water treatment plant so that will greatly fix their water shortages. Treating sewage and recycling water is far cheaper then desalination plants.  The most important thing o consider about treating water is the energy needed to run the plant. Potable Water essentially IS unlimited if you have unlimited energy. Desalination is extremely energy intensive and therefore not economically viable which is why it's barely used anywhere. It would be  cheaper to pipeline Alaska glacier runoff  water to San farnsisco then to desalinate the ocean water there. So when we talk of water shortages weare actually talking about energy shortages needed to build and operate water treatment plants. 

Edited by Keith boyd
  • Like 1
  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

On 4/8/2019 at 5:50 AM, Marina Schwarz said:

And how do you do it if you do? Drinking water's one resource that many have been warning is about to start running out since we're doing doing a lot to conserve it, so I was wondering how people are doing this, if at all. I don't mean gadgets, I mean habits. I grew up in an environment where water was treated as an infinite resource and I had to learn to conserve it later with little things like not letting the faucet run while I brush my teeth, showering more quickly (there was an additional incentive from frequent and unscheduled water supply outages there), stuff like that. 

not at all. draw from the well, use it, water goes back from whence it came. we have no shortage of water. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

A lot depends on where you live.  Here in the far Northeast there is lots of fresh water, you drown in the stuff.  But if you go to Spain then all the fresh water is being piped from inland to the seacoast hotels and built-up areas, as that is where the money is made - from the tourists.  Meanwhile, in the hinterlands, the orchard keepers are cutting down every other free to lower their water use and provide for the survival of the remaining orchard. 

Worldwide, the huge problem is desertification.  The planet's deserts are expanding - fast.  The Gobi is now only perhaps 30 miles outside Beijing, and inexorably closing in on the capitol. The Sahara keeps chewing South, swallowing up savanna-land and displacing the local populations. And the Aral Sea - well, we all know how that totally dried up, leaving sand poisoned with salts. 

Can this be turned around.  Sure it can.  The Chinese are having success with their land reclamation projects.  Even little Iceland is reclaiming the rock land where the trees were cut down by the Viking settlers 800 years ago.  Unfortunately, the "biggies" out there, the Sahara, the deserts of Southwest Africa, most of the Gobi, the area of the Aral, those are not reducing, they are expanding.  To confront desertification, fresh water - a lot of it - has to be diverted to replenish drought areas.  Does the planet have the political will?  Probably not.

  • Upvote 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I live above a massive aquifer that travels to the sea whether we use it or not. That hasn't stopped politicians who understand nothing of geology to claim that we need to "conserve" it. Mostly that talk allowed them to increase the cost by a factor of four to eight times, so it's really just another tax. If I had a bit more land I'd drill my own well and the payback would be about a decade or less if they keep raising the rate. 

That said, my wife grew up in China and automatically conserves water by a lifetime habit. This includes not flushing toilets much, capturing water that gets wasted while for instance waiting for the tankless hot water heater to get up to temp. That water gets saved in 5 gallon buckets and is used to flush toilets, water plants and so on. 

Used to have a motor home and those habits allowed us to dry camp very well. 

  • Like 1
  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

On 4/8/2019 at 4:50 AM, Marina Schwarz said:

And how do you do it if you do? Drinking water's one resource that many have been warning is about to start running out since we're doing doing a lot to conserve it, so I was wondering how people are doing this, if at all. I don't mean gadgets, I mean habits. I grew up in an environment where water was treated as an infinite resource and I had to learn to conserve it later with little things like not letting the faucet run while I brush my teeth, showering more quickly (there was an additional incentive from frequent and unscheduled water supply outages there), stuff like that. 

"like not letting the faucet run while I brush my teeth,"

Brush my teeth while showering -- i'd clue you in to the other items performed while showering but this appears to be a family site 🤣🤣🤣

  • Haha 4

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

That's genius! Thanks for the tip.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

On 4/8/2019 at 5:50 PM, Marina Schwarz said:

And how do you do it if you do? Drinking water's one resource that many have been warning is about to start running out since we're doing doing a lot to conserve it, so I was wondering how people are doing this, if at all. I don't mean gadgets, I mean habits. I grew up in an environment where water was treated as an infinite resource and I had to learn to conserve it later with little things like not letting the faucet run while I brush my teeth, showering more quickly (there was an additional incentive from frequent and unscheduled water supply outages there), stuff like that. 

 

18 hours ago, Jan van Eck said:

A lot depends on where you live.  Here in the far Northeast there is lots of fresh water, you drown in the stuff.  But if you go to Spain then all the fresh water is being piped from inland to the seacoast hotels and built-up areas, as that is where the money is made - from the tourists.  Meanwhile, in the hinterlands, the orchard keepers are cutting down every other free to lower their water use and provide for the survival of the remaining orchard. 

Worldwide, the huge problem is desertification.  The planet's deserts are expanding - fast.  The Gobi is now only perhaps 30 miles outside Beijing, and inexorably closing in on the capitol. The Sahara keeps chewing South, swallowing up savanna-land and displacing the local populations. And the Aral Sea - well, we all know how that totally dried up, leaving sand poisoned with salts. 

Can this be turned around.  Sure it can.  The Chinese are having success with their land reclamation projects.  Even little Iceland is reclaiming the rock land where the trees were cut down by the Viking settlers 800 years ago.  Unfortunately, the "biggies" out there, the Sahara, the deserts of Southwest Africa, most of the Gobi, the area of the Aral, those are not reducing, they are expanding.  To confront desertification, fresh water - a lot of it - has to be diverted to replenish drought areas.  Does the planet have the political will?  Probably not.

If there is a way to create or make water.............................. how helpful would this be? The right term would probably be "rain- maker"........... (not the book by John Grisham.... this is another concept........).............. :-)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

On ‎4‎/‎9‎/‎2019 at 10:31 PM, Jan van Eck said:

A lot depends on where you live.  Here in the far Northeast there is lots of fresh water, you drown in the stuff.  But if you go to Spain then all the fresh water is being piped from inland to the seacoast hotels and built-up areas, as that is where the money is made - from the tourists.  Meanwhile, in the hinterlands, the orchard keepers are cutting down every other free to lower their water use and provide for the survival of the remaining orchard. 

Worldwide, the huge problem is desertification.  The planet's deserts are expanding - fast.  The Gobi is now only perhaps 30 miles outside Beijing, and inexorably closing in on the capitol. The Sahara keeps chewing South, swallowing up savanna-land and displacing the local populations. And the Aral Sea - well, we all know how that totally dried up, leaving sand poisoned with salts. 

Can this be turned around.  Sure it can.  The Chinese are having success with their land reclamation projects.  Even little Iceland is reclaiming the rock land where the trees were cut down by the Viking settlers 800 years ago.  Unfortunately, the "biggies" out there, the Sahara, the deserts of Southwest Africa, most of the Gobi, the area of the Aral, those are not reducing, they are expanding.  To confront desertification, fresh water - a lot of it - has to be diverted to replenish drought areas.  Does the planet have the political will?  Probably not.

One option for the Aral was to divert flow from one of the big rivers - the Lena or Ob I think, to replenish the Aral Sea. Massive engineering project.  Would also reduce flow of fresh water into the Arctic ocean which may have some global oceanic circulation benefits.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, NickW said:

One option for the Aral was to divert flow from one of the big rivers - the Lena or Ob I think, to replenish the Aral Sea. Massive engineering project.  Would also reduce flow of fresh water into the Arctic ocean which may have some global oceanic circulation benefits.

The Aral Sea is a bit of a special case in that it sits in a caldera from which there is no outlet.  So salts have built up in there over millenia and, once the inflow water was diverted to grow cotton in the lands to the Southwest, the remaining water evaporation outpaced inflows and the Aral shrank, now exposing the sea bottom and the deposited salts.  Were one to restore the Aral, it would be prudent to first remove the surface salt deposits, so that the new lake would not be so salt-concentrated that it would kill whatever fish migrated there from the upstream rivers.  How you go about removing thin layers of salt over such a wide surface area is quite beyond me. 

You could get the Aral restored, albeit slowly, by allowing the waters from the two Darya rivers that are fed by snowmelt in the Hindu Kush to flow back to the lake, and not diverted for cotton-field irrigation.  That cotton was valuable to Stalin, and he ordered those canals to be dug. Are the locals ready to give up their water for their cotton?  That is where it gets interesting. 

Meanwhile, back in Vermont, the massive amount of rainwater is doing its thing this Spring:

image.png.0dca1b20b75d7e5444d417430e1de105.png

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

On 4/9/2019 at 2:51 PM, Keith boyd said:

It's when fresh water goes into the ocean its lost forever.

Yet only on that cycle.  Let's remember that water in the ocean evaporates, the vapor then wafting up over land and coming down in rain and snow, in stupendous amounts.  My guess is that Vancouver Island gets lots and lots of rain, given the lush growth everywhere; what you don't have is the infrastructure to collect and transport the rain from the interior to Victoria. Could you folks collect your rainwater off your roofs and cistern it?  Sure you could.  Costs a few bucks, of course.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites