Taking on Water Challenge: Week 4 – Fix Leaks

By: Angela Fritz , 5:48 PM GMT on February 28, 2013

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This guest post is the sixth from Wendy Pabich in a series on the global water crisis. Wendy is the author of Taking on Water: How One Water Expert Challenged Her Inner Hypocrite, Reduced Her Water Footprint (Without Sacrificing a Toasty Shower), and Found Nirvana. She holds a Ph.D. in environmental engineering from the Parsons Water Resources Laboratory at MIT.



The average home in the U.S. uses more than 144,000 gallons of water each year, 70 percent of which is used inside. Faucets account for approximately 16 percent of indoor water use, or more than 15,000 gallons of water. Even a small, undetected leak in a faucet can add up to big water losses. A leaky faucet dripping at a rate of one drop per second can waste up to 2,700 gallons of water per year. All told, leaks—in toilets, showerheads, faucets, and pipes—in an individual home can waste more than 10,000 gallons in a year. Nationwide, our houses leak more than 1 trillion gallons of water each year, or enough drinking water for 5 million people.

This week’s Taking on Water Challenge is to find and fix any leaking faucets, toilets, or showerheads you might have. Do so and you will save an average of nearly 200 gallons of water in a week. Often, the fix is simple—merely replacing a rubber washer, adding some teflon tape, or replacing a toilet flapper. Check out EPA’s WaterSense program for guidance on fixing leaks at home.

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5. WaterBug222
4:17 AM GMT on March 12, 2013
This is a very important issue for countries throughout the world. I hope that one day we will be able to find solutions to the global water crisis and that everyone will want to participate in the cause. I believe that in order for change to occur, we must begin by educating the public. After speaking with a few peers, I noticed that many people are unaware of the severity of the issue. Perhaps that is why few are motivated to take action.
Member Since: March 6, 2013 Posts: 0 Comments: 2
4. WaterBug222
7:51 PM GMT on March 10, 2013
I noticed that a few other people have read this article. What do you guys think about the issue? Do you think starting on the individual level is an appropriate way to deal with this situation or should more action be taken by the government? Are we heading in the right direction?
Member Since: March 6, 2013 Posts: 0 Comments: 2
3. WaterBug222
4:35 PM GMT on March 06, 2013
This is a great presentation and brings up a great point. Fixing household leaks could help solve the water crisis in the United States. However, do you think that people will willingly pay extra money to fix these things? What incentive do they have? Is there anything that the government or society can do to encourage people to fix leaks?
Member Since: March 6, 2013 Posts: 0 Comments: 2
2. WunderAlertBot (Admin)
6:13 PM GMT on March 04, 2013
angelafritz has created a new entry.
1. pintada
5:57 PM GMT on March 02, 2013
Nice Presentation on the subject.

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About angelafritz

Atmospheric Scientist here at Weather Underground, with serious nerd love for tropical cyclones and climate change. Twitter: @WunderAngela

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