Can America Decrease Its Water Use?

Water sustainability is the most important thing to ensure a prolonged existence for humanity. America is one of the heaviest water users on earth, with a population of over 330 million people, and a booming agricultural industry. To become more stringent with our water use is far easier said than done. So that begs the question: Is it possible for America to reduce their water use as whole?

I think it is very unlikely that Americans would reduce their water use on their own. America has developed into a consumeristic society, where people just go to the store and buy what they want, without considering the larger impact on their environment. Additionally, Americans rarely consider the ramifications when they do something as simple as taking a shower, or brushing their teeth. An example of this is author David Owen explaining how he failed to realize the impact he was having on the water supply when he worked for a landscaping firm. He said, “Among the many questions I failed to ask myself that summer was where all the water we used at work came from. All I knew was that every time I attached a hose to a spigot and turned it on, I could run it full force until it was time to go home” (Owen 1). This shows how Americans are very unlikely to monitor their water use without the intervention of another party. I think that this is where the United States government can help. Without stricter water regulations from the government, it is very unlikely that our water use will decrease. An example of this is Las Vegas. According to Owen, “Las Vegas has some of most stringent water-conservation regulations in the country” (Owen 2). This shows that decreased water use is unlikely to happen without stringent regulations. However, these regulations were not enacted until after massive water abuse. Therefore, I think it is time for the United States government to act towards protection out water resources until it is too late.

7 thoughts on “Can America Decrease Its Water Use?

  1. I do agree with you that it seems like America will never decrease its water use because we are a very consumeristic society. In David Owen’s article, he clearly didn’t even think twice about how much water he was using everyday taking care of lawns. However, after doing some more research into the topic, I found that water use actually has dropped significantly over the past 20 years (Water Footprint Calculator, 1). New water energy efficient technologies and processes have aided in this trend, but I will agree with you that more should be done. The United States is very lucky to have the water resources we do, but this will not last forever. This is why continued conservation and protection are so important. If America stays on this ongoing trend, we may be able to decrease its water use as a whole.

    I agree with you that there should still be a change. The average American uses nearly twice the global average in water (Water Footprint Calculator, 1). Maybe the government should intervene, or maybe it is education that is needed for all Americans. Not all Americans know about the water crisis, a globally growing issue. Bringing this to the attention of the people can also have a impact without having to employ laws and regulations. I acknowledge that gaining public has already been attempted by multiply organizations, but I believe continued displays of the effects of the water crisis are still beneficial. America may be slowly decreasing their water use, but there is always something that can be done.

  2. I agree that it will be not easy for American people to reduce the amount of water they use. From the sentences you quote, “Among the many questions, I failed to ask myself that summer was where all the water we used at work came from. All I knew was that every time I attached a hose to a spigot and turned it on, I could run it full force until it was time to go home” (Owen 1), it is clearly shown that Americans does not care about how much water they used, and never pay attention to how they use the water. Thus, I think that there is a need to let people know the fact of water is lacking, and they should limit the amount of water used. For example, the government or NGOs can make some videos and post on social media, including the interviews of the people suffering from the drought and the picture of the crisis in America to make people think that actually, this can happen to them, so they need to do something to prevent.

    I also agree with your opinion that “Without stricter water regulations from the government, it is very unlikely that our water use will decrease.” However, it will be a long process of having a new law to protect the water, and it can take several years before the law actually makes people get used to it. Thus, when we try to make new laws to protect the water resources, we still need to take other actions. We should not just wait and see the level of water decrease and create bigger problems like what I mentioned, increase the conscious of not wasting water.

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