We're getting ready to launch two new exhibitions that explore our most precious (and often most contested) resource--water. H20 Today and Water/Ways from Museum on Main Street open this spring and will guide visitors on a journey millions of years in the making. The exhibitions cover the science and anatomy of water but also water's influence on the development of world culture. The bottom line for both exhibitions is that water is finite. Here are five ways that individuals can make a difference and #thinkWater.
- Up to 14% of the water used in an average home is actually lost in leaks. Check those faucets and pipes.
- Newer water-saving showerheads use about 2 gallons of water per minute, while older fixtures can use up to 5 gallons per minute. The average bath requires about 36 gallons of water. For most Americans, a short shower in an updated bathroom can equal significant water savings.
- Older toilets use up to 5 gallons of water in a single flush. Today, federal standards allow only 1.6 gallons per flush. The average toilet is flushed five times each day. How much water could you save with a newer toilet?
- Maintaining non-native plants within an environment can have a high water cost. Check with a local nursery to find plant species which are native to your area. According to the EPA, native species "will be able to survive in your climate with minimal, if any, need for supplemental watering." In addition, native species have often developed keen defenses against local pests and diseases, which means there's less need for pesticide use.
- Install a rain barrel to collect water coming off your roof. Water can be used for gardening and many other purposes.
Use the #thinkWater hashtag on social media to follow future conversations about water, usage, historical significance, and more.