It is no secret that water is essential to life on Earth. However, even though two-thirds of the planet is covered by water, most of it is unusable to humans. The majority of water is ice or salt-water. This means that less that 1.0% of all surface water on earth is available to grow our food, cool our power plants, and supply the drinking and bath water of our growing planet. And, the demands on water are getting much more intense as our world gets more and more crowded.
Although the world’s population tripled during the 20th century, the use of water actually grew 6 times. This has meant that water is depleted at a rate faster than Nature can replenish it, and that’s a a serious danger not just to life, but to our modern way of living as well. There may be enough water around to keep us alive, but there isn’t enough to keep up with our current consumption levels. The average human only needs about half a gallon of water a day to stay alive, and 4.5 gallons per day minimum for drinking, washing, cooking, and sanitation. However, According to the US Geological Survey, the average American uses 80-100 gallons of water a day in their daily activities. Furthermore, we are using more water as a result of modern agriculture and increased industrial processes.
Some farmers are turning away from irrigated agriculture because the aquifers in their area are not getting replenished fast enough to keep up with demand. One hydrologist reported that the Ogallala Aquifer, the largest in the US, has been depleted to 32% of the amount taken during the entire 20th century in just 7 years.
Without a steady supply of water, modern life will grind to a halt. As a result, water recycling is playing a larger role in maintaining our standard of living and protecting this valuable depleting resource. Greywater Recycling Systems are important water conservation solutions for new buildings as they allow for a reduction in water consumed and subsequently a reduction in the buildings water costs. These systems can reduce water demands by 30% or more. When combined with rainwater collection solutions, low-flow toilets, faucets, and showers improvements can push beyond 50% efficiency – saving an immense amount of water.