We live in an interconnected world. A butterfly flaps its wings in Mongolia and a philosophy student ponders about that sort of thing in Spokane. See? Interconnected. As our technology and thoughts about butterflies advance, so does our interconnectedness.
One of our aims at the Planet Green website, is to try and provide people with tips and tricks for saving energy and water. Usually, we round up little household hints about how to save electricity or H2O. Most of the time we speak as if these two things were separate beasts. What you may not know is that saving electricity and saving water are actually the same thing.
How Do Shorter Showers Save Electricity?
You might not equate shower-usage with electricity usage. In fact, you?ve been told 1,000 times in your life to keep electrical devices away from the shower. But taking a shower uses electricity. A hot water heater may consume a fifth of your home's electricity and if you pump your own water from a well, that's a double whammy. But the water-related electricity you use around the house pales in comparison to the amount of energy used by the water companies.
In California, water treatment, storage and transportation accounts for 19% of the state's electricity usage. The good news is that saving water is cheaper and easier than saving electricity.
"Some of the cheapest greenhouse gas emission reductions available seem to be not energy-efficiency programs, but water-efficiency programs," said Gleick, president of the California-based Pacific Institute, a global water research center.
How Does Turning off the Lights Save Water?
Electricity uses more water than all the showers combined.
From Power Scorecard:
Most electric power plants require water to operate. Nuclear and fossil fuel power plants drink over 185 billion gallons of water per day. Geothermal power plants add another 2 billion or so gallons a day. Hydropower plants use water directly to generate power. These power plants represent the single largest consumer of water among any industrial, governmental or residential activity. Since 98 percent of the water used in power plants is returned to its source, distinctions are made between use and consumption.
These plants also de-water ecosystems and disrupt wildlife. They also pollute the air which is why we are trying to save the energy in the first place. A great way to conserve water is to decrease the need for so much electricity.
What You Can Do
Don't make a distinction between saving water and saving energy. Just because you live in a state with a lot of rainfall doesn?t mean you?re off the hook in terms of water conservation. And if you want to reduce greenhouse emissions, saving water may be the best way to do it. Everything is interconnected.