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)