As water scarcity threatens agricultural productivity, increases household and business expenses, and drains local treasuries, water needs to be approached in a new way.
On a community level water restrictions have become one method for reserving water. Water restrictions have been used in times of critical water shortage by either increasing rates to discourage use of water or by placing restrictions on the use of water by citizens for certain uses and times. Restrictions have included establishing days and times for irrigation, restricting water usage to wash vehicles, add to pools, or to use for aesthetic purposes like fountains and recreational parks.
Water usage can also be addressed on the home level. Water use per household in America ranges from anywhere between 50 to 150 gallons per day, and most is potable water. The following actions have been identified as ways citizens and homes can become more water efficient, while protecting against growing scarcity:
- Switching to green cleaning products that do not pollute groundwater
- Using a water filtering system instead of bottled water for drinking
- Installing a foot pedal or smart-touch faucet to control the sink for easy-on, easy-off water flow and water-saving washing machines
- Cutting down on unconscious water waste in the bathroom, including water-saving toilets
- Installing rainwater capture and storage systems
As population increases and droughts become more frequent, considering more efficient ways to manage water supplies not only allows for continued access to water but also cuts down costs of individual water bills.