Water Page Resources: The Importance of Water Conservation

Fresh, clean water is a limited resource. While most of the planet is covered in water, it is salt water that can only be consumed by humans and other species after undergoing desalination, which is an expensive process. Occurrences such as droughts further limit access to clean and fresh water, meaning people need to take steps to reduce water use and save as much water as possible. In some areas of the world, access to water is limited due to contamination. People who have access to fresh water can take steps to limit their use of water to avoid waste.The Why and How of Water ConservationPeople should do their best to conserve water for three reasons. The less water used or wasted by people, the less clean water will become contaminated. In some cases, using excess amounts of water puts strain on septic and sewage systems, leading to contamination of groundwater, as untreated, dirty water seeps from the sewage system into the ground.Water conservation reduces energy use and can even save households money. Most families pay to use water in their cities or regions. The less water a household uses, the less they have to pay each period. Appliances that use water, such as washing machines and dishwashers, also use a considerable amount of energy.Conserving water now allows cities and regions to plan for more efficient use of the water resources in the future. If most of an area’s clean water is wasted, there will not be water for future generations to use, meaning the city will need to come up with new ways to produce clean, fresh water, which will ultimately be at the taxpayers’ expense. Tips for Saving WaterPeople can save water by making smart choices at home. They should only use appliances that rely on water when those appliances are full. For example, a family should wait to use the dishwasher until it is completely loaded with dishes. Surprisingly, using the dishwasher uses less water than washing by hand. Other ways to conserve water include taking shorter showers and only watering gardens and lawns when necessary.Older toilets use around five or six gallons of water every time they are flushed. If the toilet cannot be replaced, one way to save water is to put a brick or a soda bottle full of water into the tank. The brick will displace water, meaning less is needed. New models of toilet use around 1.6 gallons of water per flush. Some models also have a dual flush option, meaning more water is used only when necessary.Educational Resources for Water ConservationTeachers who wish to teach students about the importance of water conservation can find plenty of lesson plans and activities online. The lessons teach students the importance of saving water and provide tips for saving water at home or school.