Water, Water Everywhere?

earth in water dropAh, summer is here! When the weather is sunny and warm, we all love to spend lots of time outside. For many of us that means swimming in pools or going to splash parks, washing our cars, spraying our gardens and lawns, and even giving your dog that much-needed bath! What do all of these activities have in common? You’re right! They all require water.

Water is such a wonderful and important resource that we get from our amazing planet Earth! Water covers about 70 percent of our planet. Think about how all living things depend on it. Really, we could not live without it! People, birds, fish, plants and all living things need water. It’s so refreshing when you drink a big glass of cold water on a hot day. Water keeps our bodies hydrated and healthy!

Where we live in Kentucky and Indiana, we are fortunate enough to have a clean, safe supply of drinking water. Where does the water come from that we use each day? Our water source is the Ohio River. It is cleaned and made safe to drink by the Louisville Water Company. We even have extra for all the things that make our lives so comfortable and easy: bathing, washing clothes, cooking and even playing in a pool! With so much clean, fresh water available to us, why should we think about conserving it?

Did you know that in a lot of other places around the world, and even in some parts of the United States, water is not available in large amounts? Many people don’t have water for the “extra” things that are fun and convenient, like filling up pools, flushing toilets and watering flowers. In many areas of the world, people have a difficult time just getting enough clean water to drink each day. The water might be polluted and cause illness. They may have to spend hours each day walking to collect water for their families. This takes time away from doing things like going to school or working. Organizations such as WaterStep help provide safe water to communities in developing countries. Louisville Zoo staff has a collection box for shoes that we donate to WaterStep. Donated shoes support clean water projects in communities around the world.

So, we only have a set amount of water on our planet and we need to use it wisely. What can kids do to make a difference? Actually, there’s a lot you can do! Even little actions add up to BIG water savings. You can start today with these fun, easy tips! You’ll save water AND money!

  • Be a leak detective! Check your hoses and faucets for leaks. One drip every second adds up to five gallons per day! And make sure to turn faucets off tightly.
  • Nearly 22 percent of indoor home water use comes from doing laundry! Match the water level to the size of your load — and reuse your bath and swimming towels!
  • Time your shower to keep it under 5 minutes. You’ll save up to 1,000 gallons per month!
  • When you want to cool off with a sprinkler, play in an area where your lawn or garden needs water!
  • If you’re washing fruits and vegetables or cooking pasta, use that water to give your house plants a drink!

There are lots of ways to save water — and they all start with YOU!