Water conservation is no mystery in most states, especially in California. Water is now one of our most precious resources. Estimates can vary, but the average person consumes between 80 and 100 gallons of water every day for domestic use, according to USGS.com (United States Geological Survey). Are you shocked at that number? Even more shocking is that the highest water usage comes from toilet flushing, followed by showers and baths? That’s why the target for water conservation begins with our toilets and showers because they consume significantly more water than any other fixture or appliance. But with that said, we have made many major strides in water conservation.
Purchase WaterSense Labeled Faucets And Fixtures
Numerous municipal governments have passed laws limiting the amount of water that can flow through taps, toilets, and showers. In certain regions, such as Atlanta, Georgia, water providers give refunds for installing a water-efficient toilet. Other cities and states in California offer rebates for purchasing WaterSense labeled faucets and fixtures. Yes, these toilets really use far less water. If you look closely at the head of your bathroom and kitchen faucets, you may notice something like 1.0 gallons per minute (gpm), which indicates that the faucet head will only allow a maximum flow rate of 1.0 gpm.
According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the average home uses 300 gallons of water a day; 70% gets used in the home, and 30% is for outdoor watering. This is how your in-home water usage breaks down:
- 24% For toilet flushing
- 20% Baths and showers
- 19% Turning on faucets
- 17% Clothe washing
- 12% Water leaks in the home
- 8% Other
Population Plays A Role In Our Shortage Of Water
One thing that never gets mentioned here in California is our rise in population which contributes to our water shortage – more people, more water usage. Since 1970 our population has grown by twenty million multiply that by 80 to 100 gallons of water a day. If you’re a native Californian and you grew up in the 60s, 70s, and part of the 80s, we had never heard a whisper about water conservation. As California continues to grow, the real question is, “Will we have enough water to support our growing population?”
Water Conservation And Water Friendly Faucet and fixtures Go Hand And Hand
At Big B’s Plumbing, we like to spread the news on ways we can conserve water without missing out on the “water experience.” This is what we mean when we say, “water experience”:
- We want to enjoy a good hot shower.
- Have a toilet that flushes better than ever
- Have washers that leave our clothes spotlessly clean
- Faucets and showerheads that exceed expectations
- Dishes, glasses, and pots and pans that sparkle.
Keeping The Water Experience Requires Us to do Our Part
The big question is, “Can we have all this while conserving water?” The answer is YES, but it won’t happen without everyone doing their part. The EPA had stepped in to do their part when they passed the Energy Policy Act of 1992. For one, it mandated new toilets to use 1.6 gallons per flush (GPF). Before 1980 it was 5 GPF, and from 1980 to 1994 it was 3.5 GPF. Therefore, one place you can start is by replacing your old toilets. New toilets outperform old toilets while using close to two gallons less per flush.
Think about this – If one person flushes three times a day, that’s a savings of six gallons of water. Now multiply that by 365 days, and you’ve saved 2,190 gallons of water. Don’t stop there. The average household has 2.58 people per household, that’s a savings of 5,650 gallons of water saved per household annually. WaterSense Calculator
WaterSense Label Products Have Come A Long Way
Here is a great example. If a family of four replaces their water heater, toilet, and showerheads with the WaterSense label products, they’ll save $88 annually. It will save 6,800 gallons of water annually, which is equivalent to washing 170 loads of laundry. Additionally, you can avoid 310 pounds of greenhouse gas emissions from entering our atmosphere each year. That’s equivalent to taking one car off of the road for ten days.
Let’s be realistic with ourselves. We’re not going to run out and replace all our faucets and appliances. But we can start small and move forward. The EPA has a calculator to help consumers calculate their energy savings based on the family size. In addition, many cities and states provide rebates to those consumers purchasing WaterSense labeled products. WaterSense Rebate Finder