Water has become one of the top issues in California and many other places worldwide. We’re always looking for new ways to conserve water. In the mid to late 1990s, water conservation started to pick up steam. When I was a kid, we would water our lawn, wash our cars, and take long showers and there was never a problem. If you’re a baby boomer, you didn’t think much about conserving water. So, what happened? More people! Lots of people either expanded their families or moved to California. I’m sure that holds true for Planet Earth in general. When discussing water conservation, we rarely discuss population and flushing the toilet, and daily water usage.
3 Billion 200 Million Gallons Of Water Per Day Flushing The Toilet Is #1
From 1970 through 2018, California grew by 101.3%. During that time, California has increased by 20 million in population; yes, that’s 20 million! In a nutshell, the average person uses 80 to 100 gallons of water per day. Take 40 million times 80 gallons, that’s 3 billion 200 million gallons of water per day for Californian’s personal use, and that’s on the low side. When you tell the average person how much water they use daily, the common response is “NO WAY!”
According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), “Each American uses an average of 82 gallons of water daily at home (USGS, Estimated Use of Water in the United States in 2015).”
Get this. Much of our water gets flushed down the toilet. The number one consumption of home water use comes from flushing the toilet, second to taking a bath or shower. When you talk about conserving water, you’ll know why we need to conserve. California continues to grow in population, and we will continue to try and find new ways to save water.
The Breakdown According To The U.S. Geological Survey
Water usage in the United States can vary greatly depending on various factors, such as climate, population density, and individual behavior. However, according to the United States Geological Survey (USGS), the average person in the United States uses about 80-100 gallons of water per day.
Here is a rough breakdown of water usage per person in the United States based on data from the USGS:
- Indoor residential use: About 60-70% of water usage per person in the United States is used indoors for drinking, cooking, bathing, flushing toilets, and laundry.
- Outdoor residential use: The remaining 30-40% of water usage per person in the United States is used outdoors for activities such as watering lawns and gardens, washing cars, and filling swimming pools.
It’s worth noting that water usage can vary significantly depending on where you live in the United States and also on individual behavior. For example, people living in areas with water scarcity may use less water, while people living in areas with abundant water resources may use more water for outdoor activities. Similarly, individuals who are mindful of their water usage and take steps to conserve water can significantly reduce their overall water usage.
The Energy Policy Act Passed In 1992
The average person doesn’t know this, but the Energy Policy Act passed in 1992 and enacted in 1994 mandates that the maximum flush volume for toilets is 1.6 gallons. Manufacturers complied, and since 1992, all toilets made are now 1.6 gallons per flush or less. The transition was challenging, as some complained about the need to flush more than once. They felt that flushing the toilet twice defeated the purpose. Since then, high-efficiency designs have significantly improved across all manufacturers.
Is The Toilet Pressure Assisted or Gravity Flow? Which Do You Prefer?
Fast forward 25 years, and the new technology is fantastic for both residential and commercial usage. There are two types of technology: conventional gravity-flow and pressure-assisted toilets. The gravity-flow toilet is the most widely available and the number one choice for residential and commercial use. In contrast, gravity-flow toilets are the first choice for commercial locations, although pressurized toilets use less water and have more flushing power.
Pressurized toilets are more effective than gravity-flow toilets. This is because they can flush much more waste using less water. And because they’re able to flush waste more efficiently, they can also leave the toilet with less residue than gravity-flush toilets.
So – What’s The Solution?
Water conservation is a challenge for all Americans. However, it all starts on an individual basis. First, parents need to teach their kids the basics of saving water and the consequences if we don’t. We guarantee your kids will follow your lead. For example, tell them they must turn off the water while brushing their teeth. Take shorter showers and try and avoid baths. These are just a couple of examples for your kids to follow.
Below are some ideas for conserving:
- Products that have earned the WaterSense certification are 20% more water-efficient than the industry norm.
- By replacing all old, inefficient toilets with WaterSense-branded units, a typical household may save 13,000 gallons and $130 in water bills annually.
- An average household can save an average of $250 in water and power expenditures over the lifetime of a WaterSense-branded bathroom faucet and aerator.
- WaterSense-labeled showerheads may save the typical household over $70 annually on water and power bills while conserving over 2,700 gallons of water annually, enough to do 88 loads of laundry.
- It is possible to recoup the cost of a high-efficiency renovation of the main bathroom in as little as one year by installing WaterSense-labeled fixtures such as a toilet, showerhead, and faucet aerator.
- Switching from a timer-based controller to a WaterSense-certified one may cut a typical household’s irrigation water consumption by as much as 30 percent, saving 15,000 gallons per year.
Too Many People, Not Enough Resources
The next time you hear about our water crisis in California, remember it’s more of a people crisis. Too many people and not enough resources, but like everything else, such as plastic shopping bags, plastic straws, or low-flow toilets, we make adjustments and move on. Complaining about it will get you nowhere. If you’re a person with a toilet over 25 years old, call Big B’s Plumbing – we have you covered.