I never thought too much about how my everyday habits could affect the rivers that I love and play on. I do try to watch my water use to prevent overuse. I never thought about how every little drop that we use counts in preventing water shortages and losing our rivers totally.
I am a river runner and river lover. I live near the Rogue River and Klamath River. I would hate to one day show up at our local river and see that was dried up. Yes I know that something like this wouldn’t happen overnight, but if we didn’t pay attention and do anything about our fresh water overuse, this could happen.
Floating on the Klamath River in Northern California.
It is already happening with the Colorado River. Because of population growth in the states of Colorado, Utah, New Mexico, Arizona, Nevada, Wyoming, and California, the Colorado River is getting tapped dry. The water is used for farming, drinking, growing lush green lawns, and hydroelectric power. It does not even make it to what was once it’s final destination, the Sea of Cortez. It is dried up. Check out Save the Colorado for more information on the threatened Colorado River.
What if our Rogue River and Klamath River dried up? How would we eat, drink, irrigate our crops, and support our livestock? Forget about watering lawns…how would we survive? We forget, it’s about survival. We all need clean water to drink. We all need food to eat. We can’t survive without it!
I found this great list on the Friends of the River website on how we can help and protect our rivers by making simple changes in our daily life. Below is an excerpt from the article.
50 Ways You Can Save Your River
“Did you know that only 3% of the Earth’s water is fresh-water? And of that 3%, 2/3 is trapped in glaciers and polar ice caps. That means only 1% of the Earths freshwater supply is accessible for use! This is why it is so important to conserve the limited amount of water that we do have.
The average American uses almost 2,000 gallons of water every day! This is twice the global average. If everybody does a little bit here and there, we will be able to cut down on consumption and preserve this valuable resource and save our rivers. Here is a list of 50+ ways…TO SAVE YOUR RIVER!
1. Instead of using the air conditioning when it gets hot, turn on the fan. It will only take about an hour to cool down your house, saving you money and water.
2. Buy recycled paper products as opposed to “virgin” paper products. Recycled paper requires far less water than brand new paper production.
3. Insulating your pipes will not only save you money in energy costs, you won’t waste water when you’re waiting for it to heat up.
4. If you accidentally drop an ice cube, don’t throw it down the sink, use it to water a house plant.
5. Collect the water that you run while waiting for the water to reach your desired temperature and use it to water plants. This same idea applies for shower and bath water too!
6. And if you have left over ice from a to-go cup, instead of dumping it down the sink, also use it to water a plant.
7. Buy a reusable water bottle and use it. The production of 1 imported bottle of water uses 6.74 kilograms of water. This is the equivalent of 15 pounds of water, which is close to 2 gallons! Imagine if you drink a bottle every day (way below the recommended amount) that would be 365 days x 2 gallons per bottle= 730 gallons of water a year wasted just in production. http://www.treehugger.com/files/2007/02/pablo_calculate.php
8. Fix your leaky faucets. One small drip leaks about 20 gallons a day. http://www.eartheasy.com/live_water_saving.htm
9. Only run your dishwasher and laundry machine when you have full loads, this will save up to 1,000 gallons a month.http://wateruseitwisely.com/100-ways-to-conserve/index.php
10. If you have a pool, keep a cover on it when not in use. This will prevent evaporation and keep your pool cleaner. Covering your pool can save up to 250 gallons a week plus the cost that chemicals would have been to clean it more frequently. http://www.sandiego.gov/water/conservation/tips.shtml
11. An easy one is to clear off your driveway and sidewalks by using a broom, instead of the hose.”
To read more tips on ways to save water go to www.friendsoftheriver.org.
Please do your part to save water! If we all take small steps…We will keep fresh water in our rivers.