A typical American uses about 100 gallons of water every day. However, the minimum amount of water needed for drinking, cooking, bathing and sanitation is 13 gallons. Host a contest that challenges each member of your family to reduce his or her water consumption.
- Have each person write down everything that he or she uses water for in daily life.
- Look up and assign water amounts to each activity on each person's list. For instance:
- A four minute shower: 20 gallons
- Bathing in a full tub: 30-50 gallons
- Flushing the toilet: 5-7 gallons per flush for an old toilet (those built before 1982). New toilets only use 1.6 gallons a flush
- Washing hands: 4 gallons per minute
- Brushing teeth: 4 gallons per minute
- Doing laundry: 43 gallons per load
- Now challenge everyone to see who can use the least water in one day. Assign a special prize or recognition to people who keep it at 13 gallons.
- Allow people to have unlimited amounts of drinking water (you don't want to send anyone to the hospital).
- When people report back, discuss what everyone learned. Ask questions like:
- What was the hardest part of life without water?
- How long do you think you could live with just 13 gallons of water each day?
- Who did you tell about the challenges of going without water when you were doing it?
- Did you know that people abroad survive on just 8 gallons of water a day?
Raise awareness about this issue at your school. GO
Source: Southwest Florida Water Management District, Consumer Energy Center, Green Cities California, Pacific Institute