When it Comes to Water, Don’t Waste What You Don’t Have

Published on November 5th, 2014 | by

4-liter

I’m still thinking about my 4 Liters Challenge from a few weeks ago – it’s amazing how much we take a resource like water for granted! While a number of things I learned stand out, I constantly come back to turning on the water without even thinking about it – I had to catch myself a number of times throughout my challenge. It struck me that availability itself leads to waste – when you assume something’s going to be there, as we tend to do with our water use, you don’t pay much attention to how you’re using it.

Some of us, however, are learning this lesson the harder way: when drought strikes, or when our water sources become contaminated. Suddenly that resource you just assumed would be there isn’t, and you become much more careful with how you’re using it. You find yourself planning ahead, limiting certain activities, and even looking at alternatives for acquiring more.

One technology that we don’t see much here in the US – not yet, anyway – is the atmospheric water generator, which literally pulls moisture from the air. Low-tech versions of this have been around for centuries; newer machines sold by companies like Molecule Water Tech function much like dehumidifiers (except, of course, they turn the moisture collected into potable water). For those facing a water crisis, or simply concerned about the quality of their water source, an AWG can literally be a lifesaver.

Even an AWG, though, is not going to produce the amount of water consumed by the typical American family – four hundred gallons a day. From what I’ve seen from a little research, eight gallons a day seems more standard for these machines, and that depends on the humidity levels where they’re used. Once relative humidity drops below 35%, the amount of water drops, too. Mindfulness of your water use becomes critical (even though you’re still getting twice as much water as many people around the world) – long, hot showers and running the water until it heats up/cools down are no longer options.

Of course, it’s always best to plan ahead for these kinds of eventualities, so what’s your family doing to prepare for a water shortage? Most of us don’t do much “prepping“, I realize, but if you’ve taken steps – whether buying an AWG or something more basic – share them with us. Then, let us know how you plan to make do with less availability of this necessary resource.

 

This post was originally published on Sustainablog.


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