Do you understand the VALUE of water?
David Zetland at Aguanomics mentions a very local proposition by yours truly as part of a question posed on UN world water day March 22. Purely anecdotal and personal, but I found people willing to chart water use but not to go downstairs and turn off the water as a thought experiment. It was an annoying task for me as well.
Do you understand the VALUE of water? by David Zetland
There are lots of footprint calculators, statistics on use and conservation devices available, but some people still fail to understand (or feel they do not understand) the value of water.
I appreciate the value after many stays in many places where there was zero water or water of unhealthy quality.
DC suggests this approach to helping people understand the value of water to them:
Instead of writing down flushes and glasses of water I “challenged” people to turn off their water at say 10 PM, turn it on in the morning for early ablutions and off again, etc., using water to do things but then turn off again for the next 24 hours. (My guess maybe on/off five six times).
Even interested parties would rather keep track of flushes, brushes, and washes. Just to notice use, but the going downstairs was too annoying…
As I said to an NPR reporter on the Charleston, W VA, spill:
West Virginia residents have — at least temporarily — flipped to a Third World experience of water. The real cost isn’t just the bottled water and the paper plates. It’s the time spent getting basic needs met.
“In the developing world, young girls don’t go to school because they spend their entire lives gathering water,” he says.
Bottom Line: The value of water depends on how much you have.
For an exceptional exploration of the abuse of “free water,” see this (via DR)
Here in Winnipeg, Manitoba several hundred households and businesses have been thrust into this experiment, having had their water pipes freeze due to an unprecedented long cold winter that drove the frost line deep underground, the worst since 1898. Slowly the city has been going around getting them thawed out, but equipment is limited and the waiting list stretches well into June.
On the other hand, many North Americans voluntarily undertake this experiment every year, hauling water from the lake, pumping it out of the ground, and boiling it before use. This practice is called “camping.” Few of us want to go camping forever, however.
The lesson here is not a moral one… we know this about ourselves… or should. We always take the easy way…
The lesson should be how do we arrange things so the easy way is the moral way .. or the long term self preservation way: it’s the same thing.
We live in the outer reaches of civilization, foothills of the Sierras near Sacramento, and are faced with with water restrictions. We have 2 acres, no lawns, and 3 horses so I would bet our household water use is much less than the water use growing hay to feed the horses. No way to go downstairs and turn off the horses. You will get us to give up the horses only over the cold dead body of my wife.
Then again on the theme of “price fixes everything, hay at $20 some dollars a bale, could be persuasive.
Yes, the point was simply to pay attention to our personal uses of water with a bit of flavor of lacking closed pipe and waste convenience. I t just caught me off guard to think making has marks on post its to chart water use was easier than a trip to the oh so convenient suburban home shut off valve. It made me laugh at myself as well.
LOL….water is local! May you get some more rain.
let us pray that big government does not force your wife to give up her horses so they can keep the water on in Las Vegas.
I guess they won’t have to, now that Big Market can do it for them.
THIS IS ONE POST TO RE-CONSIDER…water is a different resource than other. When we talk about drought in the US we tend to get all supply side and talk desalination or even pipes from the Great Lakes to wherever.
Recycling and infrastructure would gain the biggest savings in industrial and residential use.
There was a brand called “Odd House” bottled water. I am sure it was just a name for another water product and not real. The idea of septic feeds was to clarify home discharge of sewage before entering the water table.
I use a well for my horses here in Wyoming. The water table is up and the mountains have a lot of snow this year. the last hay I got was alfalfa at 6 bucks a bail.