While on a recent trip to heaven-on-earth, Paradise, Nevada, also known as Las Vegas I had the opportunity to talk a lot about water shortages and contamination. You may or may not know that I don’t believe that conserving water holds much in the way of relief for our water shortages. In short, with growing population what one person saves in water is quickly consumed by a new resident.
The real solution to water shortage lies in the recycling and reuse of water. Storm-water represents the single greatest source of unused/untapped/wasted fresh water available to mankind. We are beginning to address this although many decades of work are yet to be done. More on this, in a later blog. Today however, let’s chat about a very easily available source of water for re-use. Shower Water.
After flushing toilets and washing clothes, taking a shower is the biggest household water use. on average a shower consumes 17.5 gallons of water. A family of 4, taking just one shower per day uses about 26,000 gallons per year on showers.
To get a grip on how much water this is realize that in a city of 50,000 people roughly 1.3 billion gallons of fresh water gets wasted every year. In a city the size of Memphis, that number jumps to 13 billion gallons wasted every year.
New home construction ought to incorporate a design that features a separate drain for showers and bathtubs that lead to a water collection/purification system for reuse. The cost would be a consideration, but it would be nowhere as expensive as having no water.