Every day when I arrive at my office the sprinklers are either on or have just been on, even when it’s 28 degrees out. The plants (shrubs) are discolored and at a minimum are on the brink of death. They don’t need hardly any water let alone daily water. Since the plants aren’t doing so well most of the water runs onto the employee walk path which is an annoyance but on most days okay…except for that day when it was 28 degrees and the walkway was a solid contiguous sheet of black ice. This was discovered by me when I nearly did a swan dive.
Seeing water so egregiously wasted like this drives me nuts. My level of craziness is further elevated by the fact that I work at a county facility. All the water sanctions seem silly when the agencies enforcing them don’t hold themselves accountable.
I’m sure people I know see these types of ethical violations (frustrating but not necessarily illegal) daily and probably feel just as overwhelmed as me. I know it can be hard to feel like one person can make a difference, but every lit bit does actually go a long way.
I’d like to propose a small change that will not affect your daily routine but if made will have a lasting effect.
I’ve read several sources that all seem to agree that the typical American takes eight minute showers. A standard shower head flows at a rate of 2.5 gallons per minute (GPM). Every time I move into a new place I change the existing head out for one that flows at 1.5 GPM which equates to a 40% reduction in water. Same shower. Same length of time. Less water.
Whereas a normal eight minute shower uses 20 gallons of water my daily scrub uses 12 gallons. This might not seem like a lot of water when looked at individually, but think if all 868 of my Facebook friends took the plunge (Well, don’t really take plunge! The average bath uses closer to 30 gallons!)?
Assuming all 868 friends switched from a 2.5 GPM shower head to a 1.5 GPM alternative we would save nearly 7000 gallons of fresh water per day!