You’ve fixed your leaks, changed your habits, updated your fixtures, and re-landscaped your lawn. Good for you! Now it’s time to go out into your community and make positive changes on a larger scale. Individual water conservation is good and important, but the truth is that it only adds up to a small percentage of water used by our society each day. Municipalities and agriculture have a far bigger footprint when it comes to water usage, and water waste. Here are some strategies and statistics to help you begin to make a larger impact outside of your home and in your community.
- Join a community pool, or support public pools, rather than putting in a private pool at home.
- Speak up about wasteful water practices in your communities. Is your town watering sidewalks and streets instead of parks? Call the city offices to complain. Does the renovation of the town square include a wasteful fountain or water feature? Encourage play equipment for kids or a stage for music concerts instead.
- Support initiatives that promote reclaimed municipal waste water for landscaping irrigation in parks, golf courses, and city fields.
- Encourage industries and businesses that use large amounts of water to embrace water recycling and install water reclamation systems as part of their infrastructure.
- Patronize business that install water saving measures like water efficient toilets and faucets, and be sure to let them know that you appreciate the steps they’re taking to promote water conservation. Lodge complaints with businesses and municipalities that aren’t on board, and let them know that water conversation efforts earn your patronage!
- Lobby for smarter agricultural practices in your community and region. Agricultural water use accounts for the largest percentage of wasted water in the U.S.A., accounting for up to 70% of the nation’s water usage, yet with efficiency rates that run as low as 40%. Upgrading irrigation systems, adopting more progressive farming practices, and embracing advanced watering technologies has the potential to conserve billions of gallons of water every year.
As the U.S. and the world faces dual pressures of population growth and climate change, the issue of water scarcity is only going to increase. By taking steps as individuals and communities to encourage water conservation we can all make a difference!