During the past two decades the demand
for water for our homes, industry and agriculture has been steadily increasing,
resulting in recent water shortages in some parts of Britain. Forecasts
suggest that this upward trend will continue and this, together with the
effects of global warming and the climatic uncertainties of the future,
increase the need to conserve and carefully manage our water supplies.
The average person in the U. S. uses between 100 and 250
gallons of water a day. It is possible to get by just fine on one tenth
that amount. The use of low water capacity toilets, flow restrictors at
shower heads and faucet aerators are fairly common now. More radical conservation
approaches include diverting gray water from bathing, clothes washing
and bathroom sinks to watering plants; catching rain water from roofs
and paved areas for domestic use and switching to composting toilets.
These can be very effective and safe means of water conservation if done
carefully to avoid bacterial infestation; be sure to comply with all local
laws that regulate these strategies. Landscaping with drought tolerant,
indigenous plants can also save an enormous amount of water.
So, what can be done to conserve water in the home and in commercial premises?
It is relatively easy to reduce the demand for water in buildings substantially
while maintaining modern hygiene standards. The initial step in water
conservation comprises simple measures such as showering instead of bathing,
turning off taps, and fixing leaks promptly, all of which can make a big