June 10, 2018
How many gallons of fresh water per day are normally figured per person?
I found out I had no water sense. In writing my latest book I learned so much from Brian Werner at Norther Water Conservancy http://www.northernwater.org/sf and I thought I would pass it on.
The answer, at least in Colorado goes back to very specific rules developed for water rights from rivers. Since reservoir storage capacity was figured in acre-feet, that is what was used. They decided that one family of four needs one acre-foot of water per year. That’s 325,851 gallons per year, 892.74 gallons of water per day per family, or 223.19 gallons per day per person. The answer is c) 223 gallons per day per person. WOW!
However, the EPA has figured that typical Americans use is 100 gallons per day, or about half what reservoirs typically reserve for us. So there should be plenty. Why are all the rivers drying up, then?
How can we possibly use so much water? Look at typical water use and learn.
This is a great website someone showed me to explore how to teach your kids (or yourself) about fresh water facts and conservation. https://www.epa.gov/watersense
Other ways to conserve water in your home and yard. https://learn.eartheasy.com/guides/45-ways-to-conserve-water-in-the-home-and-yard/
But, I don’t want to do all that stuff to conserve water. Let’s just use the ocean. There is so much water there. Surely that’s the future and we’ll be okay.
The problem is that desalination uses a lot of energy to work and costs twice as much, as regular fresh water sources, though the cost has nearly halved since the Post Carbon Reader came out in 2011.
It’s clear that conservation can help a lot. But with the continued population explosion, we will need other sources of fresh water. Desalination may be the only thing we have. To avoid increasing global warming by using so much energy to process sea water, we need to do it with renewable energy. https://cleantechnica.com/2017/01/18/renewable-water-desalination/
There are other, more drastic solutions to global warming, as in Dan’s War. But that might lead to global war and a post-apocalyptic United States as in Anodyne Eyes.
Sometimes people just don’t care about other people, only their own home, farm or ranch and are willing to do almost anything to prevent others from having any of “their” water. That is a subject I explore in my next book.
Enjoy that glass of cold water now. Your grandkids may not have that luxury.
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