WATER CONSERVATION IN THE UNITED STATES

There is a tendency in the United States to forget that deteriorating water quality can reduce available water supplies just as surely as drought. This is due, in part, to the practice of separating considerations of water quantity from considerations of water quality and the tendency to treat these independently of each other.

There is a tendency in the United States to forget that deteriorating water quality can reduce available water supplies just as surely as drought. This is due, in part, to the practice of separating considerations of water quantity from considerations of water quality and the tendency to treat these independently of each other. The fact is that the amount of water available for any purpose in any location is a function of the quality of available water supplies. Thus, it is important to recognize that considerations of water quantity and water quality are intimately related to each other and should be considered jointly with each other. In this paper, they are separated only to simplify and highlight the various issues related to each.

Historically, in the United States, the maintenance and enhancement of water quality was considered to be the prerogative of the states. Western states tended to have reasonably effective water quality control laws and policies because the prevailing water scarcity made clear the importance of not allowing water quality to deteriorate. Despite this fact, there was a tendency nationwide for states to compete for the location of new business by promising freedom from stringent water quality regulations. This provided states with an incentive to weaken water quality policies and regulations so as not to be at a competitive disadvantage when promoting economic growth. Beginning about 1970, the U.S. Congress passed a series of water pollution control and water quality laws that created strong national programs to restore and maintain water quality. These programs were aimed at reducing (and ultimately eliminating) most point source pollutants. (Point source pollutants are those that are discharged to the environment from a discrete point, for example, an outfall). The federal pollution control effort had two distinct designs, one aimed at controlling industrial discharges to the nation’s waterways and the other focused on the management of waste in public sanitary systems

According to this source, here are some tips and facts for water conservation in the United State.

  • The human body is about 75% water.
  • Only 1% of the earth’s water is available for drinking water. Two percent is frozen.
  • Less than 2% of the Earth’s water supply is fresh water.
  • Landscaping accounts for about half the water Californians use at home. Showers account for another 18 percent, while toilets use about 20 percent.
  • The average American uses 140–170 gallons of water per day.
  • If every household in America had a faucet that dripped once each second, 928 million gallons of water a day would leak away.
  • There are 7.48 gallons in a cubic foot of water. Therefore, 2000 cubic feet of water is 14,960 gallons.
  • A person can survive about a month without food, but only 5 to 7 days without water.
  • Every day in the United States, we drink about 110 million gallons of water.
  • Public water suppliers process 38 billion gallons of water per day for domestic and public use.
  • Approximately 1 million miles of pipelines and aqueducts carry water in the U.S. & Canada. That’s enough pipes to circle the earth 40 times.