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Why Should You Conserve Water?

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Water, despite being the most abundant substance on earth, is not as accessible and endless of a resource as many people treat it like it is. Freshwater makes up only 2.5% of the water on earth and only 1% of that freshwater is usable.[1] Water scarcity, although not a prevalent problem in all regions of the world, exists on every continent and is expected to become an increasingly pressing issue. Due to the magnitude of the potential global impact of water scarcity, the World Economic Forum categorized it as one of the top risks faced globally.[2] Water scarcity already affects half of the largest cities in the world and the UN estimates that water scarcity could be faced by two thirds of the world’s population by 2025.[3]

Water usage and demand is on the rise at a rate which is disproportionate with population increase.[4] The United States has a higher average daily water usage per household than the global average. Every day, in the United States about 400 billion gallons of water are used, with about 5.7 billion gallons of that going to toilet flushes alone.[5] Water conservation efforts are important in decreasing water usage and preventing the usual pattern of increased water usage with increased development so that water scarcity does not become the threat that it has the potential to become in the near future.

Lifestyle has a significant impact on water usage because everything from how often and how long a person showers to what they eat has a large impact on how many gallons of water they use in a day. To find out about how many gallons you use in a day, try this water footprint calculator. Simple measures can help to decrease commercial and residential water usage:

  • Fix any leaks, they can add up to gallons of water per day

  • Take shorter showers and turn off faucets when not in use while brushing teeth and washing dishes

  • Install low flow shower heads and faucets and high efficiency toilets which all use much less water than their inefficient alternatives

Water usage reduction, in addition to allowing for increased sustainability, can have significant financial benefits especially if efficiency is adopted by large commercial properties. On top of the direct benefit of decreased water spending, water use reduction in faucets and showers also decreases energy expenses associated with heating the water. There are also often rebates and incentives for water conservation measures.

In order to combat the increasing scarcity of water, people need to work to demand less water and conserve water when possible. There are many ways to make a conscious effort to do so whether it be through simple steps like taking shorter showers and watering your lawn less or through larger changes such as a change in diet and investing in high efficiency products for your home or business. Water should not be a luxury however if water waste and inefficiency continues as it has been, it will not be much time until more and more areas are facing water scarcity, this is why a conscious effort towards water use reduction needs to be made.


[1] “Competing for Clean Water Has Led to a Crisis.” Clean Water Crisis Facts and Information, 18 June 2019, www.nationalgeographic.com/environment/freshwater/freshwater-crisis/.

[2] “2015 World Economic Forum Report: Water Crises Ranked as Top Global Risk.” Drop4Drop, 30 Jan. 2015, drop4drop.org/2015-world-economic-forum-report-water-top-global-risk/.

[3] “100 Amazing Water Facts You Should Know.” Seametrics, www.seametrics.com/blog/water-facts/.

[4] “Scarcity | UN-Water.” UN, www.unwater.org/water-facts/scarcity/.

[5] “100 Amazing Water Facts You Should Know.” Seametrics, www.seametrics.com/blog/water-facts/.