Even though most areas of the U.S. currently face no imminent threat of running dry, Project Water lists 100 ways all citizens can conserve water and avoid possible future shortages.
Cape Town, South Africa, may be the first major city in the world to actually deplete its supply of drinking water. The city of almost half a million citizens (and 4 million in the expanded metropolitan area) may run out by April. Experts say a perfect storm contributed to the humanitarian disaster: the most serious drought on record, a growing population and a rapidly changing climate.
Although it seems the stuff of high-budget disaster movies to consider a U.S. city actually running out of water, Miami is on the BBC’s February list of “The 11 cities most likely to run out of drinking water” report. Miami makes the list because — even though the average rainfall is high, 60-plus inches — “An early 20th-century project to drain nearby swamps had an unforeseen result; water from the Atlantic Ocean contaminated the Biscayne Aquifer, the city’s main source of fresh water,” the report said.
Several cities in California are consistently under threat of water shortages for many of the same factors affecting South Africa.
In Cape Town, recommended water responsibility transitioned into a forced mandate. As of February, each resident is allowed to use around 13 gallons of water per day.
Even though most areas of the U.S. currently face no imminent threat of running dry, Project Water lists 100 ways all citizens can conserve water and avoid possible future shortages. A few are:
— When brushing teeth, turn off the tap after moistening the toothbrush.
— Only wash full loads of laundry.
— Collect and reuse rain water, especially for watering plants.
— Install an instant, tankless water heater so water does not have to run long to heat up.
— Check faucets, showerheads, outdoor faucets and toilets for leaks.
— Throw tissues and makeup wipes in the trash instead of flushing them.
Cape Town residents are recycling bath water to flush toilets, encouraged to take 90-second showers, and using hand sanitizer instead of running water to wash hands.