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water conservation

WHY WE NEED WATER

The Original Tree-Hugger by Kurt Bauschardt, August 29, 2015

We need water. Try to image a day without directly using water. You would be thirsty, you could not shower, and you could not use a flush toilet. Now try imagining a day without indirectly using water. You would really have a tough time. You could not have any food, you would have no clothes, no shelter. Water is used in manufacturing, mining, and electricity production. Even worse, without water, no living things would exist!

The environment provides natural resources and services. Clean water is just one service. When the environment and wildlife are not healthy, people cannot receive those services. We would have no clean water, no food, and no clean air to breathe. Even if you don't really care about trees, and would never be caught giving one a hug, we must protect the environment to make sure we have enough resources to continue living.

Want to learn more about water? Click to learn about the water cycle, watersheds, water pollution, and water management in San Antonio.

Water and San Antonio

Texas Blind Salamander_6 by Josh More, December 16, 2016

The majority of the water that comes out of faucets in San Antonio is from the Edwards Aquifer. This is an amazing source of fresh, clean, tasty water. An aquifer is an area of rock underground that contains a body of water which flows to springs and wells. The Edwards Aquifer is made of limestone and reaches across Texas. The Edwards Aquifer has many caves where the aquifer meets the surface. Creatures like the Texas blind salamander live in these caves.

Adult Whooping Crane and Chick by US Fish and Wildlife Service, February 23, 2012

When the water flows above ground, bodies of water, including the San Antonio River, are fed. The San Antonio River water flows from its headwaters at Headwaters at Incarnate Word, through downtown, and to the gulf. At the gulf, the San Antonio River feeds estuaries, the meeting places of rivers and oceans. Estuaries are rich in nutrients and full of hiding spots. The whooping crane spends its winters in estuaries fed by the San Antonio River.

The Edwards Aquifer, and all water on Earth, is replenished in a constant cycle. The water cycle, driven by the sun's energy, is what causes the rain, and what provides us with fresh water to drink. However, the water cycle can only go so fast. If we take water out of natural resources, like the Edwards Aquifer, faster than it can be replenished people will suffer, but endangered species like the Texas blind salamander and whooping crane could go extinct.  

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how you can help

The average American uses 80 - 100 gallons of water per day (USGS, 2016).

View the modified text below from USGS to see what you can do to conserve water.

 

Showering: Most shower heads use 2 –5 gallons of water per minute. Try soaping up without water then rinsing off all at once. See this article for more information.

Shaving: When shaving, use a small bowl of water instead of letting water run. Don’t shave in the shower.

Washing Dishes: If possible, use a newer, energy efficient dishwashing machine. Newer machines use about 6 gallons of water, but older machines can use up to 16 gallons. If washing by hand, use a basin of water instead of running water. Scrape leftover food into the garbage, and let dishes soak beforehand if food is caked on.

Washing Clothes: Just like dishwashers, newer, energy efficient washing machines use less water, 25 gallons instead of 40 gallons per load. Try hanging clothes up after wearing them to air out. Items like pants, sweaters, or shirts worn with undershirts might not need to be washed after every use.

Outdoor Watering: Your outdoor faucet can use 2 gallons of water per minute. That adds up quickly when watering large areas. Plant native plants that are drought resistant, and have the added bonus of providing food and habitat for native animals. See the SAWS website for information on landscaping sustainably.

Use Less: Water is used for everything from harvesting raw materials, manufacturing cars and sneakers, producing electricity, to transporting goods. You can turn off lights and unplug appliances when not in use to decrease electricity usage. Buying concentrating cleaning products cuts down on transportation, and making your own cleaning products is even better. Buy two or three pairs of high quality shoes that will last instead of frequently buying many pairs of lower quality shoes. These indirect uses of water add up, and by using less, you are conserving water.

More water conservation tips can be found here and here.

land conservation

WILDLIFE CONSERVATION

 

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