Sisters of St. Joseph of CarondeletOctober 20, 2019

Earth Concerns News

Water, Water, Everywhere and Every Drop Counts by Janet Derby, CSJ Associate

Everyone needs to pay attention to the ways by which one of our most precious resources, namely water, may be wasted each day. Water is more important to our survival than oil or gas. Nearly 97 percent of the world=s water is salty or undrinkable. Another two percent is in the form of ice at the ice caps or in glaciers. This leaves only one percent that is potable for consumption by living organisms. It is, therefore, paramount that each individual help sustain the quality and quantity of potable water.

There are many simple actions that one can take in order to ensure that future generations will have an adequate supply of clean, potable water. If every person would take one action each day, we would conserve greatly this most precious resource. While the savings accrued by just one person=s conservation method each day seem minimal, the savings accrued collectively by everyone would be quite substantial. Examples of measures one could take to conserve water are presented below for your review.


In the Bathroom

!       Don=t let the water run while you are washing your face or brushing your teeth.

!       Decrease the water flow to adjust the temperature while taking a shower.

!       Take shorter showers. Take a ANavy@, i.e., turn on the water to get wet; turn off to soap up; turn on again to rinse off.

!       Fill bathtubs to one-third of their capacity.

!       Replace a showerhead with an ultra low-flow version. This action could save two-and-one-half gallons per minute for each shower taken.

!       Install a toilet dam (Even a brick will do) in the holding tank to cut down on the amount of water needed for flushing.


In the Kitchen

!       Do not use the kitchen garbage disposal all the time. The disposal requires an excessive amount of water.

!       Instead of placing frozen food under water to thaw, place the food in the refrigerator overnight or use a microwave to defrost it.

!       Fully load dishwashers before starting them.

!       Instead of putting water down the drain, save it for use in house or garden plants or for other cleaning purposes around the house.


Around the House and Yard

!       Insulate water pipes to get hot water faster.

!       Repair dripping faucets. If just one faucet drips at the rate of one drop per second, one can expect to waste 2,700 gallons of water per year.

!       Do not water lawns too much. Be careful when you position the sprinklers. Make sure water is hitting the grass and not driveways or sidewalks. Use a broom or brush to clean driveways and sidewalks.

!       Use mulch to retain moisture in the soil.

!       Use a commercial carwash that recycles water rather than wash the car yourself in your driveway or parking lot.


Bottled Water

Tap water is really very safe drinking water. It is s a good practice to buy a water bottle and fill it with available tap water. Companies such as Coca-Cola are extracting water in third-world countries and depleting the local water supply. This practice causes water shortages and destroys agricultural activity. Unfortunately, the remaining water often becomes contaminated with high chloride and bacteria levels, leading to scabs, eye problems and stomach aches in the local population. This water is bottled under the names of Dasani and Bon Aqua. While not all bottled water is taken from developing nations, we really should check our source to make sure we are not robbing the poor for the convenience of bottled water. (


(February 2006)