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Water Conservation

Essay by   •  February 21, 2012  •  Research Paper  •  2,092 Words (9 Pages)  •  1,380 Views

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Water Conservation

Water conservation is a growing concern among many Americans that has been rapidly increasing over the years. In my previous paper, I discussed how great of a problem wasting water is in our society; however, in this paper I will be discussing the more appropriate methods of using water and how these alternative methods are more beneficial for society and for the individual owner. There are numerous alternatives that can be put into place when using water that help save significant amounts of water instead of most common daily practices that waste far more water than required. Water waste is a problem that not only affects our nation and society on a large scale, but it also affects people on a personal level in many ways. Wiser and more conservative practices must be put into affect due to the fact that they can save money and water as well as help our environment stay healthy.

Wasting water can lead to many environmental hazards such as garbage polluting the environment, watersheds being used dry, and even pollution of rivers and streams (Eartheasy, 2010). One of the major hazards of unwise water practices is that of vast amounts of litter and garbage that is caused by bottled water. "By many measures, bottled water is a scam" (treehugger, 2010). Bottled water has many reasons as to why it is not a wise or beneficial method of drinking water. The number one reason to avoid bottled water is the garbage. Over 1.5 million tons of plastic is wasted each year due to bottled water (Baskind, 2010). According to Food and Water Watch, it requires up to 47 million gallons of oil to produce the plastic required to make bottled water (Baskind, 2010). Although the plastic is in high demand by vendors, approximately 80% of those plastic bottles are discarded as waste and not properly recycled (Ciruna, 2004). The majority of garbage from plastic bottles usually ends up in the ocean as well; this not only damages our ecosystem, but also puts numerous marine animals at risk of death because they mistake the plastic for food or prey (Baskind, 2010). As well as its dangerous threat to animals, the slow decay rate of plastic is also detrimental to our environment because most, if not all of the plastic used for bottled water still exists and is present somewhere on our planet (Stewart, 2010). Bottled water is not only dangerous to our environment, but it is also a costly expense in retrospect to the alternate solutions that are available. Water is actually more expensive than gasoline in terms of cents to gallons (This Land, 2010). Water is sold at 5 cents per ounce while gasoline is sold for 2 cents per ounce (This Land, 2010). This statistic was acquired from comparing a $1 bottle of water containing 20 ounces to a gallon of gasoline sold at approximately $3 that contains 128 ounces (This Land, 2010). Despite all of these facts, many people still stay faithful to bottled water instead of making the most beneficial choice of tap water or filtered water. One could easily buy one aluminum or plastic bottle and use it as their primary method of carrying water instead of using and then disposing of hundreds or even thousands of bottled waters (Singha, 2010). This alternative is the most practical method of transporting water for an individual who is constantly on the move. Another alternative to bottled water is to buy a filter for your tap water that comes from the faucet (Singha, 2010). A filter will purify your water in the same water that the majority of bottled water companies purify their water to make it have a cleaner taste. This alternative is definitely more practical for people on a personal level due to the economic benefits that would come from not spending and wasting money on bottled water on a constant basis (Baskind, 2010). These simple and effective alternatives to bottled water are both economically and environmentally responsible and should be put into practice by more people on a regular basis to prevent garbage and litter build up from plastic bottles as well as helping people on a personal level with smart economic choices in order to save money.

Another area of wasted water that needs to be more conservative is our watersheds. Almost all communities and cities draw their water from a watershed that is located underground close to these areas (NEPRWA, 2010). Almost every household activity from taking showers, flushing the toilet, doing laundry, or even brushing of teeth draws water from underground wells related to watersheds (NEPRWA, 2010). In many cases, watersheds are being used to such great extents that they annually lose large amounts of their freshwater discharge; and much of these losses can be attributed to poor water responsibility. Americans waste water on simple household activities more than any other nation (Cowx, 2010). One particular example of a watershed that is losing its freshwater discharge annually is that of the Neponset River Basin located in California (NEPRWA, 2010). Over 200,000 people in the Neponset Watershed draw their water from this basin (NEPRWA, 2010). Every time they do any household activity that uses water, that water comes from local wells inside this watershed. It is conservatively estimated that the volume of water lost each year from the Neponset River Basin is exceeding 20% of its total annual freshwater discharge (NEPRWA, 2010). This shortage of discharge flow also attributes to lower stream flow of rivers and streams. A shortage of water flow in rivers and streams, especially during the intense heat of summers, can be very devastating to the health of rivers as well as the water basin itself (Postel, 2005). The low water flow can make the water that sits in lakes and ponds to become hotter and therefore lowers oxygen levels for aquatic life (Postel, 2005). As the water levels of streams and rivers continue to decrease, fish eggs can be exposed to heat and air and dry out; plants that have been adapted to higher water levels can also wither and die, reducing natural habitats for birds and animals (NEPRWA, 2010). An even further negative that could result from poor water conservation is that of there being less water in rivers to dilute pollutants that have made their way into streams; therefore, making streams have higher toxic levels (NEPRWA, 2010). Many of these negative effects on rivers, streams, and water basins can be attributed to poor responsibility of human water consumption. High water consumption for indoor and outdoor activities, especially during the summer season, contributes in many ways toward



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