What many people may not realize is that the recent four-year drought in California was handled far more comfortably than anyone expected. The state has learned a lot over the past thirty years on how to deal with droughts and ensure they are less damaging to businesses and industry as well as consumers.
And what the state has learned can and will benefit the entire country. Helping us all use water much more responsibly and efficiently. For instance, Californians now realize:
• Water is no longer something we can take for granted as if it were in never-ending supply.
• Increasingly, we need to charge users the true costs of gathering, storing, delivering, and removing water.
• Federal regulations now mandate the amount of water toilets and urinals can use per flush—1.6 gallons for toilets and approximately 1 gallon for urinals. We need to start viewing these numbers as too high, and select restroom fixtures that use less water or no water at all.
• We must expand water capacity storage to be better prepared for future droughts.
• Water shortages should no longer be viewed as a “local” issue. If one area of California or the country experiences a shortage, we should be able to pull water from nearby areas where it may be more plentiful.
• All consumer water-using devices—from dishwashers to washing machines—should feature new technologies to reduce water consumption.
• A new water mentality must evolve. Businesses and industries must view reducing water consumption not only as the “right” thing to do, but in their best business interest.
• Variable-rate irrigation systems are needed to allow farmers to use water more selectively; additionally, farmers have implemented irrigation scheduling and soil sensors to determine water needs.
• Water audits, which were rare 40 years ago, need to be commonplace, especially in larger facilities. Water audits help determine where water is being used, where it is being wasted, and where use can be reduced.
• Rebate programs must continue to support consumers and facilities install more water-efficient systems.
No Need for Water Regulations
Over the years, manufacturers of water-using products have taken the initiative and developed products that use far less water than is mandated by Federal law. Urinals are now available that use about half a gallon of water per flush, and waterless urinals, which are less costly to select and install, are receiving renewed consideration because they eliminate water use entirely.
When it comes to water, we’re all in the same boat. We can talk about shortages and droughts in California or other states or other countries. But the reality is water is an issue impacting the world. Many say water will be the oil of the 21st century. We cannot control Mother Nature, so our only option is to use water more responsibly and more efficiently, and that is up to every one of us.
For more information on how to use water more responsibly and efficiently, contact a Waterless Co representative.