Water Waste in our Modern World: How we can Help

by XavierGagnon on November 10, 2017 - 7:09pm

By: Xavier-Rowan Gagnon, Dorin Popa, Simon-Pierre Dupuis

The Issue:

As the years go by, and the scope of our impact on the environment dawns on us, it becomes clear that clean water will become one of the most critical resources for humankind in the future. Yet, water use is amongst one of the things citizen and companies in western cultures are the least worried about, and consistently waste aquatic resources both within their country, but also, more problematically, in less wealthy countries where the more limited water resources often get used faster than they can be replenished.

Two leading factors of water waste are the agricultural and domestic sectors. Currently, up to 60% of all fresh water consumed globally is used to grow crops. Indeed, a single plant requires a large volume of water to grow, but the most simple and widespread method of irrigation is also the most widespread. This method, consisting of flooding a field, wastes close to half the water deployed. Some modern techniques help reduce this waste, but the overall process remains extremely inefficient. In many naturally dry areas where wealthy communities are settled, facilities like pools, and decorations like lawns and plants are taken for granted, yet they require huge water input to maintain. It has been found Canadian households use on average 91 gallons of water a day, while US ones take up 100 gallons a day. In contrast to a country whose water supply is limited, for example Israel, who uses on average 36 gallons a day, this is huge waste. One reason for this is the price associated to water in north America, usually much, much lower than elsewhere due to the more plentiful resource.

               The first step to lowering water waste is through awareness. Less wasteful techniques of agriculture are already commonly available, and residential consumption is closely tied to lifestyles of citizen. For example, farmers can use Drip irrigation, a method that delivers water directly to a plant’s roots, which reduces water waste by as much as 80%. Additionally, irrigation scheduling – watering at precise, efficient times – is also an easy implementation that helps reduce water use in irrigation. Residentially, people need to simply be more efficient with their use of water. This includes little tricks, like only washing full loads of clothes and minimizing shower time, and prioritizing them over baths. Installing high efficiency appliances (ex: toilets and dishwashers) also greatly helps reduce water waste inside households.

 

Our Solution:

Goal:

In the town of St-Lambert is a water treatment plant. Our plan is to visit that plant, then conduct a small awareness campaign to warn about residential and general water waste, and how to reduce it. The visit will help us gather facts and evidence at how much energy is wasted when water is not used efficiently, and will give us justification as we will have seen it happen ourselves. The awareness campaign will most likely be conducted at the college level, most likely involving social media as well as a physical aspect (ex: posters).

 

 

Saving Water - Tips for Residential Use

https://www.home-water-works.org/water-conservation-tips/home

10 Ways Farmers Are Saving Water

https://cuesa.org/article/10-ways-farmers-are-saving-water

Residential water use in the U.S. and Canada

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Residential_water_use_in_the_U.S._and_Canada

Water World

http://watersome.blogspot.ca/2011/11/overuse.html

 

 

 

 

Comments

I think that you explained the issue very well. In fact, although the problem is somewhat complex, you made it very easy to understand why it happens and the consequences that are related to this problem. Moreover, I found it very interesting that you proposed solutions which could help resolve this issue. However, since Canadians consume a lot of water, I don't believe that a simple awareness campaign will have the impact on society that you were hoping for. Indeed, although people will learn about subject, few to no people will change their daily habits; therefore, they will continue to over-consume water the way that they have in the past. I propose that you do something that will change people's habits more drastically.

I found your project really interesting and it is definitely an issue in a society as ours. However, I was wondering how are you going to spread your awareness campaign on social medias? How will you make it significantly attractive for the people to even click and see the post? How will your post stand out from other? There is so many post about water waste and other irrelevant posts on social medias. You guys could maybe do an experience in which you live for a day or two without or almost no water. Then you could share that experience in the posters. In general, the project seems fascinating.

The issue at hand is described very well and you make it easy to understand. Everything in theory sounds great but one thing I am wondering is what exactly you are going to do. Your goal seems pretty clear but there seem to be no concrete actions you are going to take (dates, places, people). That is the one thing I would add to your proposal. You have all the information required to go ahead you should just make sure that you outline your project to make sure you are in the right track. Water waste is a true problem and although the chances are low, I hope your project will make a difference. Your ideas are very good, good luck!

I think your research is very good. You have a good issue you want to adress and it is proven well that there is a problem to solve. However, I don't think that the way you want to reach your objectives is attainable. I don't think your project will have a real impact on the overall sustainability at Champlain's College. Even though people will read about it, they probably won't make changes to their daily habits. I would propose that you go up tu people to talk to them directly about your discoverings instead of just hanging them up on the walls. This way, you would have a better impact on people because they would hear directly from you and you will be able to answer their questions.

You have a great idea here but I think it is lacking a lot of information. I understand that water waste is a major problem and St-Lambert is, in fact, among the worst in this category. There is a great purpose behind this project and it would help a lot of people realize how much water is important. The problem is that your way of making it happen is not detailed enough. You should provide a clear way of teaching people about the problem like create a Facebook page posting often, stating facts, etc. or make a detailed article about it and maybe send it to different newspapers to make people realize. Posters is a great idea but will you make a stat-based poster or a punch poster? A lot of questions like this remain but you are to a great start, good luck!

I think that your issue is really well describe but went you say that farmers could use Drip irrigation, the method that delivers water directly to a plant's roots. Do you know how costly this is ? Do you now if this method is realistic for farmers ? I found on a renowned website that this method can cost up to $750 per 500 square feet which is expensive, even if it could reduce water waste by 80%. Maybe do you know if the government can finance this project? Apart from that your objectives is good but I don't think it is really going to attract people, maybe it could be a good idea to experience it, to live with the fewer water use as possible for a certain period of time and than to share your experience with students it would be a lot more attractive.

Your project has a nice goal, as it's true a majority of people living in our community don't put a lot of value in clean water. Otherwise, people would take action to reduce the huge waste everyone experiences in their household. On the other hand, sometimes people don't take action as it is too complicated, they don't have time or they are too lazy. Thus, your project might have an even greater impact if you concentrated on giving out easy tips on how to reduce water consumption. Or, even better, if you share the experience of using those easy tips - which save the most water, how difficult were they to install, etc. However, this might become another project, as doing both the awareness campaign and the easy tips is too much in the laps of time that we have.The idea of the plant is great though, as it is concrete proof that people in the region are wasting, it isn't a reality that is far away.

Your project is incredibly well thought out. You explained the issue very well and supported it with believable and interesting facts. You made me conscious of just how much water we are wasting here in North America and in other first world countries, while there are some countries who don't get any. I had absolutely no idea that agriculture wasted that much water, but looking at it, it makes a lot of sense. The only thing is I'm not too sure that your goal will be that effective. I understand that you want to spread awareness, but I'm not sure that having a social media account and a couple of posters will be enough to show everyone that this is a big issue. Perhaps have something set up at Champlain, like a presentation or demonstration that will show people the consequences and the way to fix the issues. Also, what will you put on your posters and on social media? Maybe, in your posters or online, you could write where the water plant is and invite people to check it out or something. Overall, very interesting project that I'm sure will be very informative and very successful.

I will start by stating how impressive your knoweldge of your subject is. By reading your post, I was very inspired and thoroughly intrigued by how municipalities deal with water waste. I think your idea is great, but maybe you could be clearer on what what would be the methods used to spread awareness. For example, you only mention the utilization of social media, but not which one or how. It would be important to mention what type of campaign would be lead off of which platform, like making a page dedicated to tips and tricks, or photographs of waste water sources and contamination, to sensitize the public. The subject is very actual, and I feel like too many people ignore the repercussions of the problems with wrongly dealing with waste waters. Keep up the good work, I can definitely see this project going somewhere!

Very interesting article! I was surprised to learn that so much water is used to only grow crops and that in return, much of it is simply wasted because of the irrigation method. We can see here another example of how we, as humans, keep on wasting our most precious resources even if we know we must find a more sustainable way to use them before it is too late. I was also very surprised to learn that the average household uses up to 91 gallons of water a day! This is an enormous amount of water and I bet that, again, most of it is ‘’wasted’’ with showers, watering the front lawn, etc. It’s quite sad to realize how easily it becomes to waste such a precious resource just because we still have plenty of it. Raising awareness on the matter is indeed very important and even if your team succeeds in doing so only at college level, it is already a very good start!

Since the article is well researched you are very aware of all the facts. Wasting water is so obviously wrong and bad for the environment as well as typical of us humans, spreading this kind of information is very important because I'm sure there are people like myself who while being aware of this issue, weren't gravely affected by it. Bringing as much attention to a problem as possible is definitely a good way to solve it (one of many ways). I have a Facebook page that you could use to promote your information if you're interested as it is one of my own goals to promote efficient ways to help the environment. The page is called change in green and wed be happy to post your information on it! thanks and good job.

Firstly, your goal of raising awareness towards the problem of water wasting is pretty clear. The choice of this problem is very understandable since people waste so much water without even caring really. I find that your decision of going to visit the water treatment plant is a very good one since you are going to experience something that can really educate yourselves, help you understand you subject more and allows you to come with better arguments. This project is very realistic since this problem is seen in almost every household. Not being too complicated, your project should respect the timeline allowed and educate many people towards the crisis. This looks very promising, so good luck!

Firstly, your goal of raising awareness towards the problem of water wasting is pretty clear. The choice of this problem is very understandable since people waste so much water without even caring really. I find that your decision of going to visit the water treatment plant is a very good one since you are going to experience something that can really educate yourselves, help you understand you subject more and allows you to come with better arguments. This project is very realistic since this problem is seen in almost every household. Not being too complicated, your project should respect the timeline allowed and educate many people towards the crisis. This looks very promising, so good luck!

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