Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Do You Know Your Water Source, Use, Cost?

How much do you know about your own water supply and usage? Where does it come from? Where does it go? How much does it cost? Which inventors, engineers, and companies can you thank for these resources?

Many people are surprised to realize how little they know about resources they rely on so completely. I certainly took water for granted when I lived in a city with a municipal water supply. How will you do on the following quiz? 

Of the people I asked before writing this, many knew the source of their water, but NONE knew offhand, water consumption, unit costs, personal usage or post-use processing.  And yet, we all know how important water is. 

Once you take your quiz, you may be interested in my comparative source and usage rates at our little log cabin, off grid in Alaska, where I have become hyper- aware of how much we produce, how much it costs, and how much we can use before having to go without!

a) What is the source of your water (for example, a lake, aquifer, river, glacier, rain, or well)?
b) Is that source stable or declining?
c) Where do the grey water (sink and tub) and sewage go?
d) How much power does it take to deliver your water to you (for example a truck delivery of bottled water, a pump for a well or the infrastructure of the municipal water system)? What is the source of that power?
e) If you use municipal water, how old is that complex? How does its water quality compare to other cities? (Call to see if they offer tours to individuals or groups. A city water plant is a fascinating and important place. Because of them, many cities conquered the water borne diseases that still bedevil many parts of the world. Find out how much your city's plant costs to build and maintain)
f) How much do you pay for your water supply?
g) How much water do you use?
h) For what? (some water monitors segregate statistics for outdoor and indoor use, or for potable or non-potable water. Some high-rises have water cooled air conditioning systems).
I) Do you know how much water is used in your average bath, shower, dishwasher, clothes wash cycle, toilet flush, lawn, swimming pool etc? (This is easy to look up on line) How much do you use for cooking and drinking, or for your pets?