Which will be first, Peak Oil or Peak Water?

peak water and peak oilA lot of experienced people are predicting water shortages. Investment professionals are advising clients to finds ways to invest in the ability to supply fresh water. Fresh water is becoming a valuable resource that is getting scarcer and going up in cost.

Even the latest James Bond movie tapped into this theme. If you saw the movie (Quantum of Solace) you may remember that the bad guys were trying to take control of the fresh water supply in a South American country. Peak Oil may be making most of the headlines, but Peak Fresh Water could be a bigger long-term concern.

Water conservation is a key part of a greener lifestyle. In the last post on living green and saving money I discussed faucet aerators and low-flow shower heads. Here are some more simple ways you can conserve water at home.

1. Fix toilet and faucet leaks immediately.

Drippings faucet and running toilets are wasting water 24-7, and the amounts add up quickly. Americans lose on average about 10 gallons of water per day due to leaks. That adds up to 3650 gallons per year per person, and that is a lot. One of easiest and most effective ways to reduce your water bill is to make sure all leaks are fixed.

2. Turn the water off while brushing your teeth, shaving, or washing your face.

There is no need to have the faucet running continuously while you do these things. Even with a water=restricting aerator, you are running a bout 1.5 gallons of water down the drain every minute.

3. Limit your showers to 5 minutes.

I love the feeling of hot water running over me as much as anyone else, but limiting showers to the time it takes to get clean will save you serious money on your water bill over a long period of time. And showers are typically more efficient with water than baths. A bathtub requires 40-70 gallons of water to fill. A 5 minute shower running at 2 gallons per minute uses only 10 gallons of water. The water savings are significant, but in term of cost, the most important cost factor for your shower is the energy required to heat that water to a comfortable showering temperature. The energy bill, whether electric or gas, is about 10 times the cost for the water itself.  This means that switching to a shower for a bath will save you about $0.10 per day in water and about $1.00 per day in energy cost. Over a year’s time, that amounts to about $400 per person in your household, assuming that they shower once a day (ahem!). If you already take a shower, shortening it from 10 minutes to 5 minutes will save about $200 per year.

4. Put a milk jug filled with stones in your toilet tank to displace water.

Believe it or not, just flushing the toilet accounts for up to 30% of the water usage in the average home. You can immediately see the benefit in reducing the water per flush. Saving just a half-gallon or a gallon of water (the volume of a milk carton or just) on each flush adds up quickly. Even better is to install a low-volume-flushing toilet. In the town where I live the new code is for 1.6 gallons per flush. Compare that to older models that used as much as 5 gallons per flush and you can see the significant impact on water use from installing a newer, low-flush toilet.

5. Collect the water that runs while you are waiting for your shower to warm up and use it to water your lawn and flowerbeds.

I admit this requires more effort, but only a little bit. And it will save you some money as well as water.

All five of the tips listed above will reduce the water you use in your bathroom. Water you don’t use is both water conserved and water you don’t have to pay for, saving you money as you develop a greener lifestyle. Cutting back on the volume of water for bathing, which is heated water, will save even more money on energy.

Source: Living Green and Saving Energy

Contact us for all your water conservation and solar energy requirements.  Our WWF Award Winning water conservation systems include rainwater harvesting systems, rainwater tanks, grey water recycling systems, greywater irrigation systems, water-saving toilet flush mechanisms, swimming pool backwash recycling systems (see product demo) as well as the full range of JoJo water tanks and water tank stands (we are authorized JoJo Tanks dealers in South Africa).  Yes Solar Mpumalanga supplies SABS and Eskom-approved solar water heaters that are installed professional Eskom-accredited solar installers.  We supply FREE QUOTES on all our eco-friendly products and services.

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