Archive for Thursday, May 28, 2009

Letters: Water shortage solutions

May 28, 2009

To the editor:

Scientists say there is no longer a doubt: We are approaching a worldwide water crisis. Not the global warming kind, but the overconsumption of potable water, the stuff we wash and cook with and drink. All of us must concentrate on ways to stop our wasteful use of it.

The giant Ogallala Aquifer, which feeds the whole Midwest, is shrinking at an awful rate. In the last 25 years it has lost 253 million acre-feet of water, and is losing it now at 21 MAF per year.

A faucet dripping a drop of water per second wastes almost seven gallons per day. I use a five-gallon bucket to catch the water dripping from our air conditioner, then use it to water the flowers on the porch. It's a small solution, but every little bit helps. In our communal garden, we put a piece of corrugated plastic drain tube alongside each tomato plant and hill of melons, and water only the plants, not the area.

When New York suffered a severe drought in 1964, Gov. Nelson Rockefeller had signs posted on the highways and in the subways, “You don't have to flush every time you piddle.” Comical, but it saved six gallons per flush and made every citizen water conscious.

Recalling this, I put up a sign above the barn toilet used by our gardeners, “In this garden of sunshine and fun, you don’t have to flush if it's just number one.”

Ross Murphy



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