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Water Conservation: History and What I Can Do

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When looking into the water conservation I found that back thousands of years ago people would just pick up and move when they had problems with not having any water. “When wells ran dry from overuse, or rivers became polluted with human waste, they just relocated to a new, unspoiled location.” (Encyclopedia.com) Civilization thousands of years ago in China, Africa, and the Middle East were the first to think about how to conserve water that was hard to come by, which they need to supply their cities with this life-giving resource called water. Many civilizations used to plan for the water droughts and even the floods that would come. These people would plan and build structures to keep the water longer and build structures to take bad water or wastewater away from the towns and cities. Some civilizations were not so good with planning and using their water. “Many archeologists attribute the mysterious disappearance of the Anasazi people from the American Southwest to inadequate water supply.” (Encyclopedia.com)

The United States started to think about conserving water in the 1890s. Americans were wasting water for the use of mining, the movement to logs from logging, and the use of hydropower. Because of this we almost lost the flow of water in Niagara Falls one of our national landmarks. One of the men that helped jump-start conservation in the United States was Gifford Pinchot. He starts the conservation movement in 1890 saying “best use of nature was to improve the life of common citizens.” He noticed what was happening to the wilderness when people started to explore the frontier in the 1800s. He helped President Theodore Roosevelt during his presidency to put in place conservation policies that are still in place to this day. Another person that helped with water conservation is President Franklin D. Roosevelt. He helped put in place a lot of the Americans water dams, from Tennessee to the Mississippi to Colorado. ” The Bureau of Reclamation, a government agency that manages the surface water west of the Rocky Mountains, constructed more than 600 dams during 1920s and 1930s.”(Encyclopedia.com) He was trying to bring back the US’s economy when the Great Depression hit. Then in 1994 the Federal government mandated the use and increase in the production of low flow faucets and toilets as well as showerheads and sprinkler heads.

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There are a few countries that have been trying to conserve water for many years. One of those countries, the Middle East trying to find the history of what the people did before the 1980s was not easy. I did talk to a few people when in the middle east about there water and for the most part from what I was told was that they moved around finding water thru out the dessert lands. Palestine back in 1875 was looking into taking on immigrants to get more water rights from the Jordan River. Most of there water came from aquifers and rainwater until they could start getting water brought from the Jordan River. Then between the years 1922 – 1948 the war of water in the middle east started, because of the lake of water the bigger cities and tribes would make water plans and if the littler cities and tribes didn’t like the plan then it would be taken by force. After looking into both the US and Middle East’s water problems along with a few other countries, I found that most if not all had some kind of water problem. I found that the problems are getting worse, not better. Some counties are starting to step in and fund water conservation and finding ways to reduce the water consumption and creating products that will add in the conservation efforts.

I found that there are several ways I could save water in my personal life. There is buying low flow appliances and turning my sprinklers into a drip irrigation system to help save water where Californians use most of there water. “Nearly 60% of a person’s household water footprint can go toward lawn and garden maintenance.” (National Geographic) With now knowing that I felt that if I change my outdoors landscape that would help me conserve more water and help others in my community to maybe fallow me if it looks nice. In my community, I have an HOA so I will have to go and get a permit to change my front yard. I will submit the plans I have to the POA office; they will have the Architectural Control Committee look over it, and if they say I am good to go I will pay for my permit. The permit will cost me $150.00 and I will have to complete all work by a said time that is on my permit. I can only have people work in my front and back yard from 7 am to 6 pm and they must be a licensed contractor. I would like to put rock and fake grass in my front yard with some drought-tolerant plants. If I have a complain come in and bring everything, they need to install the rock and the fake grass then I will end up pay about 7 to 10 thousand dollars. If I buy the rock and fake grass from the local hardware store the materials will cost me about 1 thousand dollars. The labor would cost me 4 thousand dollars and that is with them coming in and removing old grass and hauling it away for me. The third option is for me to buy the rock and fake grass and install it myself which would only cost me the materials. This option is very expensive because to go get real grass is about .45 cents a square foot and the fake grass is 24 dollars for 7 linear feet. The amount of water that I would be saving is about 30 units of water a month or 225 gallons a month in just landscape. That would be a savings of 50 to 75 dollars on my water bill. The fake grass says that it will stay green and is good for 8 years. With that, I would not need to water or mow my lawn which saves me in gas and help with not polluting the air with the mower. It would be less green waste to go to the dump, as well as I would be able to spend more time with my family and less on yard work. I feel that this way of conserving water would be good for the community and would spread thru out and it would help many areas of conservation and help save me money, maybe not at first but down the road.

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