Tap water is a convenience of the modern world – we turn on our faucets and have water in an instant. Many of us don’t appreciate how fortunate we are to have running water in our homes, nor do we think about how much water we waste from day to day.
While fresh water is something that we use regularly, instinctively in most cases, we sometimes neglect the benefits of heaving such an abundant source readily available. Staying hydrated is a luxury not everyone in the world have, which affords us energy and a healthy, active lifestyle. It’s important to not only utilize the water that we have, but understand the benefits of our fresh water supply. Conserving water can be as easy as not leaving the faucet on while you brush your teeth. Many households could greatly reduce the amount of water wasted by taking a few simple steps. First though, let’s look into how important water is to the human body, young and old.
Safe, fresh water and the health potential
Water is second only to oxygen for human survival. On a desert island, an individual can survive two weeks without food, but only two to five days without a fresh water supply. Constantly being aware of your own hydration is essential to staying healthy, and subsequently ensuring your survival.
Now, this is not to say that you are constantly being washed ashore on a desert island, but by staying hydrated, a person can increase productivity and energy naturally without the use of stimulants or other outside sources. Some other benefits of staying hydrated are easing joint pain, lowering blood pressure, keeping your skin healthy and moist, and keeping bones and teeth strong.
While water might be readily available in most places, not all water is created equal, and actually the best fresh water available comes right out of your faucet. Tap water receives much needed minerals from underground, making it much richer and healthier for the drinker. While bottled water might also be considered fresh, it filters too much and lacks certain elements like fluoride that can help bolster the body. Water treatment plants don’t adequately remove all impurities from water – including lead and pharmaceuticals.
One of the best ways to improve water quality is to use filtered water for drinking and food preparation. Filters can also cleanse hundreds of gallons before needing to be changed, so they offer a much better return on your investment than bottled water.
Change how you use water
Showering, flushing the toilet and washing dishes are three activities that consume a lot of water in the home. A single shower can use several gallons of water, but you don’t need to sacrifice cleanliness or convenience in order to conserve water.
Consider installing a low-flow showerhead and be mindful of how much time you spend in the shower. And don’t use your toilet as a backup trashcan – flushing a single facial tissue wastes between five and seven gallons of water.
If you have a dishwasher, use it only when you have a full load of dishes. When washing dishes by hand, fill one side of your sink with soapy water, and the other side with water for rinsing, so you don’t need to keep water running.
Old homes may be wasting water in ways you cannot see. Check pipes for any signs of leakage. Some pipes in your home may not be accessible, but you can use your water meter to look for leaks. Record your meter reading and then don’t use any water for two hours. When you check your meter again, if the reading has changed, you’ve got a leak somewhere in your home; you may need a plumber to diagnose the problem.
Insulate your water pipes, too. People waste countless gallons of water while waiting for shower water to warm up in the winter, but if your pipes are insulated, your water will become warm quickly.
While many people use water from a spigot and hose to care for lawns and gardens, a more conservative approach is to collect rainwater using rain barrels. Your water usage will be significantly reduced when you collect your own water for plants.
With a little extra attention to detail, many homeowners could dramatically reduce their water use. Think about the days when we had to leave our homes to find water – when every drop of water was extremely valuable, and we found creative ways to reuse water. Even though water is piped into our homes nowadays, water is still one of our most precious resources, and we need to use it wisely. So the next time you and your family are out to eat, consider just asking for a glass of tap water; it’s cheaper and all around healthier for the human body.