As we look around the country this very dry and very hot summer, it’s a good time to reflect on water. It’s especially apropos, since many areas of the U.S. are facing re-occurring drought situations.
Rather than wondering where to find new water sources, perhaps we should stop and think about where the clean and drinkable water that we have already treated is actually going.
I recently re-read Charles Fishman’s book, The Big Thirst, and he points out that the water is going places most of us could not imagine.
First, one in every six gallons simply seeps out of pipes and storage tanks. Our water delivery system is one part of the national infrastructure that sorely needs more attention.
Even more water (49% of total national consumption) goes to power generating stations to produce electricity. Curbing energy use can help preserve water. Who knew?
Then, each of us flushes 5 times per day, using 18.5 gallons. That’s 5.7 billion gallons of clean, drinkable water literally down the toilet every day.
As the water crisis creeps up on us, we should stop and think about how we are using it or even losing it. Where the water is going might actually be more important than where it’s coming from.