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Comment from: Bob

You know I had to say something here. That is that you don't always need a toilet to pee in. The back yard works just fine (at least for some of us) and then you can have another beer, made from the water conserved from the flush you didn't waste, to toast that you just recycled all the nitrogen (from the hops and barley) in your urine to help fertilize one of mother nature's blessings; e.g, your hops plants! .... And the cycle continues!

04/13/12 @ 10:33
Comment from:

I did anticipate exactly this response. The amount of flushing water you've saved in the course of your lifetime is uncountable. Thanks for the comment!

04/13/12 @ 11:01
Comment from: Joy

All I could think of while reading was:- "It's about time we get serious about what's happening in the bathroom!" I don't particularly like the commercial but it definitely fits here. I plan to use the jug suggestion; another small significant step. Thank you!

04/14/12 @ 06:12
Comment from: Mike M

Ruth, once again I find that for the sake of pure scientific reasoning, I must throw a curve into this discussion on water. Don't get me wrong, I think that what you propose is a true water saver and can have a very beneficial effect on water usage and availability within the (a) community.
My point of contention comes from what I believe is the basic nature of water and the hydrological cycle water takes. The amount of water on this planet is basically finite, we don't use it up, it merely goes through the hydrological cycle... we don't decrease the resource, but it does migrate to places where distribution to the end user is not always bountiful. So water conservation in the community or geographic area serves those in that location.

Also we must keep in mind that only 2.5% of the Earth's water is freshwater, and 98.8% of that water is in ice and groundwater. Less than 0.3% of all freshwater is in rivers, lakes, and the atmosphere, and an even smaller amount of the Earth's freshwater (0.003%) is contained within biological bodies and manufactured products.[6] (Source: Wikapedia)

Bottom line is conservation of all our resources whether renewable, finite or diminishing is a must for life on this planet for generations to come. Let's leave them (our) descendants something to continue on this wonderful path through the life of our planet and the unknown future of mankind.

04/14/12 @ 21:45
Comment from:

Joy: I feel the same way, obviously. I was recently shopping for new shower fixtures when I noticed that nearly every line included the chance to add multiple shower heads so that you can have water shoot at you from every direction, undoing, and counterproductive to the water conservation advancements.

Mike: Thank you for including this. I've kept the science of the hydrological cycle out of the original post, because it is is a topic deserving of lengthy discussion. However, since you've raised it, I'd also like to add to the cyclic information you noted.

It is not the presence of water that makes Earth so special, but the presence of liquid water. When we use water, we alter not its existence, but its form. For many U.S. communities served by public sewers, the water leaves the toilet and rushes to a treatment plant. There, contaminants are separated and the water is released from the plant. Yes, it is still water, but is is now water displaced, water that costs money to treat, water that is no longer nourishing the groundwater system (or whatever system it was withdrawn from). Sometimes the water is returned to drinking water, but today's bottled water (another huge topic) is preferred since we can never psychologically detach the waste from drinking water. Humans want the stuff from the deep down well or mountain spring.

More often however, in rural communities especially, treatment plants release the "used" water into a stream. Streams are wonderful for floating and for fishing and for all the things we love about streams, but they are all headed to the same place ... the ocean. I suspect the vast 87.5% (according to your statistics) is mostly saltwater, water that will only return to freshwater after it has been evaporated and returned as rain, rain that has been increasing in furry, furry dictated by evaporation rates, fast evaporation bringing on fierce storms, storms that deliver rain so hard it cannot be absorbed but washes right back to the stream, storms that hurry the rain on its march to the ocean in the form of a flood.

Water evaporated slowly, however, comes down slowly, wetting the Earth's surface in a way that everything and everyone gets a few drops, including the deep down well and the mountain spring.

How we use water impacts its place in the cycle, so the finality of our water supply may one day be, "water, water, everywhere, but not a drop to drink." Yes, let's leave our descendants with a future that is at least as wonderful as ours.

And thank you for furthering the discussion.

04/15/12 @ 09:58