Published on Wednesday, 30 November -0001 00:00
The "Land of 10,000 Lakes" actually contains more than 12,000 lakes and 92,000 miles of streams and rivers. In addition, Minnesota boasts an abundance of groundwater resources. Fresh water supplies such as these are essential to our quality of life in many ways. Water is a necessity for human health, as well as the health of crops, livestock and other living organisms. Water is also required to produce energy and manufacture countless products. Although freshwater is plentiful in Minnesota, it is not limitless. Conservation efforts today will help ensure a future with abundant water resources.Water conservation can also affect your household budget by reducing the cost of water and sewer utilities and decreasing the strain on septic systems. There are many ways to reduce water use in and around the home. Here are a few suggestions: Showering uses about 5 gallons of water per minute. Shortening your shower by a minute or two can save up to 150 gallons per month. Water-efficient shower heads are available in many inexpensive, easy-to-install models. These shower heads can save up to 750 gallons per month. Turning off the water while brushing your teeth can save 25 gallons per month. Each toilet flush uses between 5-7 gallons of water. Newer toilet models are engineered for lower volume and use closer to 3 gallons per flush. Before water the lawn, check to see if the root zone is moist. If the soil 2 inches below the surface is moist, no water is needed. When water is needed, apply it in the morning or evening when temperatures are cooler and water is less likely to evaporate. Adjust sprinkler heads so only the lawn is watered and not the house, street or sidewalk. If your kids like to play in the sprinkler, place it on an area of the lawn that needs watering. Wash your car on the lawn and you can water the lawn at the same time. Also, use a hose nozzle or turn off the water while washing the car to save up to 100 gallons during each wash. Fix those leaks! A leaking toilet can waste up to 1,000 gallons per month. Faucet repair can save up to 300 gallons per month. Remember to check outdoor faucets, sprinklers and hoses for leaks, too. Conserving water is not just about limiting use in and around the home. Because water is used in so many ways, conserving water is also about conserving energy and other resources. Conservation can be as simple as flipping off a light switch, choosing a more energy-efficient light bulb, taking a shorter shower or fixing a leaking faucet. More complex conservation efforts could mean using alternative energy sources such as solar panels or driving a different type of car. For more information, go to the following Web sites: www.wateruseitwisely.com, www.mrwa.com, www.awwa.org and www.metrocouncil.org.