Why is Water Conservation Important?
Marylanders have access to an abundance of water much of the time, and we’re accustomed to having water available at the twist of a faucet. U.S. citizens use approximately 205 billion gallons of water a day for household, industrial, and agricultural uses. Unlike the dry western areas of the country, in this area we often overlook the importance of conserving water. As our population continues to grow, however, demands on our precious water resources increase. In order to ensure adequate water resources for our future needs, we must put conservation measures into effect now.
Practicing water conservation on a regular basis can prevent or postpone the building of new water supply infrastructure. When utilities are able to reduce demand, they can frequently extend the life of existing infrastructure, saving their consumers the cost of building or renovating. Conservation can also reduce the amount of water that needs to be processed by wastewater treatment plants, again preserving infrastructure and also reducing the amount of waste discharged to streams and rivers. Finally, sound water use practices can make us more resilient during times of drought, negating the need for mandatory interventions.
What is Maryland Doing to Promote Water Conservation?
The State of Maryland has developed a three-pronged approach to promote water conservation across the State. This action plan addresses water conservation in three areas: State facilities, water utilities, and public education and outreach.
On May 24, 2001, former Governor Glendening issued an Executive Order requiring all State facilities to conduct water use audits and take actions to reduce their water use. The Executive Order is intended to make State facilities a model for Maryland’s citizens and for other States. Any building that is owned, leased, or managed by the State will be required to reduce their water use by 10% by the year 2010.
MDE has asked the State’s largest water utilities (together serving more than 3.5 million individuals) to conduct audits to evaluate the amount of residential water used per person. They will be asked to develop and implement a water conservation plan including customer education and possible incentive and rebate offers.
The Maryland Department of the Environment has undertaken a public awareness initiative to educate Maryland’s citizens about the importance of conserving water.
Tips for Saving Water Inside the Home
Approximately sixty percent of total household water supply is used inside the home in three main areas: the kitchen, the bathroom and the laundry room. Follow these tips to reduce water use indoors:
Make sure all faucets are tightly turned off and not leaking: A leaking faucet could waste up to 4,000 gal/year
Replace old faucets with new water-efficient models or install aerators to reduce flowIn the Kitchen
In the Bathroom
In the Laundry
Tips for Saving Water Outside the Home
Forty percent of total household water supply is used outside the home. Maryland’s water resources are daily sprinkled, squirted, dripped, gushed and often wasted outside the home. Follow these tips to reduce water use outdoors:
Other Outdoor Use
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