Water conservation has always been important, but people are starting to realize now that turning off the water while shaving or taking shorter showers can have even greater environmental benefits; it also reduces greenhouse-gas emissions.
Among the topics at the 2009 WaterSmart Innovations conference held earlier this month was the electricity usage for water consumption. Turning on the tap, shower, or sprinkler requires electric pumps, often
run on fossil fuels, to ship the water to you. On the way out, the
water requires even more energy to get treated.
This is no small matter. According to a 2005 California Energy Commission report, nearly 25 percent of America’s electricity goes to moving and treating water. While efforts are being made to improve the efficiency and eco-friendliness of municipal water and treatment plants, the most basic solution is to conserve.
Unsure of how best to conserve water at home? You can green your toilets and dishwashers (click on the links to see how) or save almost 90 glasses of water each day by simply shutting off the tap when you brush your teeth. Outdoors, you can water the yard with greywater or invest in a rainwater harvesting system.