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Wise Water Use for Floridians

Shelley Swenson
Family and Consumer Sciences/EFNEP Agent
Wakulla County

Sustainable Big Bend and the UF/IFAS Wakulla County Extension Office have dedicated programming time this year to assist with the University’s Sustainable Floridians program.  Our approach has been to establish community-based sustainability discussion groups and to show quality movies to further citizens’ understanding of the challenges our world faces if we continue to deny changes that are happening globally.  One movie of special interest that has been shown, followed by excellent discussion, is Blue Gold World Water Wars, a film by Sam Bozzo.   Mr. Bozzo contends that the wars of the future will be fought over water, as they are today over oil, as the source of all life enters the global marketplace and political arena.  Mr. Bozzo asks “Past civilizations have collapsed from poor water management. Will ours, too?”  If you have not viewed it, I would encourage you to do so.  Our local library has a copy and you might find one in yours as well.  You will want to see it more than once to absorb all of the information contained.

Washing Machine: 22%; Toilets: 28%; Baths: 9%; Showers: 21%; Toilet Leakage: 8%; Faucets: 9%; Dishwashing: 3% Photo Credits: UF/IFAS Living Green Solutions for your LIFE

Did you know that although 75% of Earth’s surface is covered by water, only 0.6% of it is fresh water (the rest is salt water) and available to be used in the home?  Are we a society that wastes water?  Do you have any idea how much water is used around your house?

Small changes in water use habits can make a big difference. Photo Credits: Judy Corbus, Washington and Holmes Counties

Here are some Quick Tips on Water Conservation offered on the UF/IFAS Living Green website, www.livinggreen.ifas.ufl.edu

  • Verify your home is leak-free—read your water meter before and after a one-hour period when no water is being used.  If the meter does not read exactly the same, there is a leak somewhere.
  • Repair leaky faucets and pipes.
  • Install a faucet aerator to reduce your faucet water use by 50%.   Shower water use can be reduced 50% with a low-flow showerhead and can save up to 20,000 gallons of water per year!
  • Check toilet tanks-add a few drops of food coloring into the tank.  If the toilet is leaking, color will appear in the water in the bowl within 30 minutes.
  • Install a displacement device in the toilet tank.  This will cut down on the amount of water needed per flush.  This device can cut water use by 40%.
  • Operate the dishwasher and washing machine only when you have a full load.
  • Connect a shut-off nozzle to your hose.
  • Use a broom and dustpan instead of a hose to clean debris off the patio, sidewalk, and driveway.
  • Calculate how much water you use.
  • Become an involved citizen—report all significant water losses (broken pipes, errant sprinklers, open hydrants, etc.)

DISCLAIMER:  Please remember that UF/IFAS does recommend a TYPE of product that may help you conserve water and energy; however, this is NOT an endorsement for a particular brand.

Living Well in the Panhandle

Permanent link to this article: http://jackson.ifas.ufl.edu/newsletters/2011/12/20/wise-water-use-for-floridians/