According to Livescience, 70% of the world’s freshwater supply is used for agricultural purposes, such as farms and lawns. This poses a problem for the environment because when fields are watered, the excess water flows into nearby streams or rivers. This can pollute bodies of water because the runoff is filled with fertilizers and other toxins that may be harmful to marine life. Also, some crops require more water than others. For example, cotton needs a lot more water to survive than potatoes do.
As we discussed in class, another source that requires a lot of water is the toilet. Everytime you flush, you are using between 1.6 gallons and 4 gallons of water. After this water is used, it may be treated and sanitized so it can be used in other ways, such as for watering plants.
Another common way that people waste water is through leaking and malfunctioning equipment. According to the Washington Post, Americans waste 1 trillion gallons of water each year, or 40 million swimming pools, due to leaky faucets and broken sprinkler systems. Not only is this wasteful and harmful to the environment, but it is extremely expensive for homeowners.
One way to reduce the amount of water waste in the world is to replace older toilets with more efficient ones. Also, landowners and farmers should replace their irrigation systems with sprinklers, which produce less runoff. Additionally, people should be wary of potential leaks in their faucets in order to avoid wasting any water.
Your article is very interesting, I never really thought about how destructive fertilizer runoff could be to the environment. I think you’re right that one of the best and most important ways to reduce water waste would be to replace older toilets, as well as replacing irrigation systems. It is crazy to think about how much water we are wasting without even knowing it.
I never really thought about how different crops would require different amounts of irrigation. Your post got me thinking about how much water the textile industry requires because you mentioned that cotton requires lots of water. I learned that it takes about 713 gallons of water to make one cotton tshirt which is insane. But I can’t think of what we could replace cotton tshirts with that would be cheaper and more efficient. Is there a solution?
This post is really insightful, and these numbers are fascinating. I think replacing older toilets with newer, more efficient ones would be a solid investment for both our environment and homeowners. With all of our technological advancements, especially the ones catered to energy/water sustainability, it would be well worth implementing newer and environmentally-friendlier techniques in our homes.
Julia, great post. I too used the Washington post piece about leaky faucets. It really makes you think about the cost of a small drip when combined with millions of people is actually a huge amount of water.I like your idea about more efficient toilets. Maybe one day there can be monthly tests by the EPA on homes to make sure they do not have leaks.