In the Pacific Northwest, clean water is plentiful, reliable, and available when needed. Having drinking water piped directly into our homes can make us forget how precious clean water and water conservation is.
We are reminded of the critical importance of clean water as we become aware that things are changing. A warmer climate means increased water evaporation on land and water bodies. Rivers, lakes, and reservoirs are low. There is almost no snow cap on the mountain ranges. Dry land means more wildfires across the west. The Colorado River is very low, impacting the many states dependent on it for drinking water and irrigation. The Mississippi River’s low water levels are impacting transport. Farmers are having trouble finding water for their crops and animals, which in turn affects jobs.
On July 14, 2021, Washington State Governor Jay Inslee issued a state-wide drought emergency for much of Washington state. The projected water supply for most Washington counties is 75 percent below average, and the governor declared this season, “a summer of climate change.” The first ever federal declaration on water shortages is expected this summer making the need for water conservation ever more important.
Because of the current US and world situation, it is important to conserve water, even when it seems abundant. Water is a non-renewable resource, cycling around and contained on our planet. Less than 3% of the earth’s water is fresh water. The rest is salty. We may never run out of water, but we could run out of clean, fresh water. (All of the stuff we put down our drains ends up in our water.)
The lack of rain in always-rainy Seattle, plus heightened temperatures, means we need to utilize the water conservation tools and practices already in place. We all play a part, and small steps to reduce water usage in our day to day lives are helpful. These include:
- Turn off kitchen and bath faucets while washing dishes and brushing teeth.
- Wash only full loads of laundry.
- Run the dishwasher only when full.
- Fix drips and leaks, especially in the toilet.
- Drink tap water, not bottled water. Fill your own water bottles for travelling, the gym, the car.
- Reduce shower times.
- Put a bucket in your shower to catch water and then reuse it on plants and the yard.
- Sweep your outside areas instead of spraying them with water. Brooms are good tools.
Consider Water Use
However, even with the changes we all can make, it is also important to vote for what we want via our choices, and to consider the water required for the products and the industries we support. As examples, plants require far less water than cattle, making plant food a more long-term sustainable choice. Inexpensive cotton clothing requires great amounts of water to produce but does not last more than several washings.
According to USGS, the industries that use the most water are those that produce food (irrigation for livestock and plants), metals, wood and paper products, chemicals, gas and oils.
Follow the water cycle of your favorite foods and retail items. Put your money on practices you support. Companies and countries respond to consumers, and a company’s choices affect us all. Speak out on what is important to you.
Contain and Flow
Call Raymark Plumbing & Sewer for all of your water needs. Raymark is dedicated to containing and conserving water. We also ensure your water flows. 206-440-9077