You wake up and take a sip of water from the cup on your nightstand. Then you use water to brush your teeth, wash your hands or shower before you start work. From the moment you wake up, water already plays an integral part of your day.
But what if you woke up and your cup was empty? Or there was no water coming out your faucet or showerhead? You’d likely be confused at first and then become frustrated as the day continued. Outside your home, hospitals would close, firefighters would be left defenseless, and other industries would need to pause without water.
It’s uncomfortable to imagine a day without water. Why? Because water is vital to our survival and our day-to-day functions. Even as communities across the world and the United States confronted a global pandemic, water and wastewater systems continued to provide this critical resource.
This year’s “Imagine a Day Without Water” event on Oct. 21 adds a new and unique perspective on the importance of water in our life.
The annual Imagine a Day Without Water started six years ago by the Value of Water Campaign to raise awareness, educate communities and promote water systems across the country. This year's Imagine A Day Without Water is taking place on Oct. 21, 2020. With virtual events, student contests and more, this national education campaign brings people together to appreciate and advocate for the importance of water. Anyone who cares about water and its future is encouraged to participate.
The Brazos River Authority works every day to ensure that the Brazos basin will continue to have access to water by building and maintaining reservoirs, securing groundwater and participating in statewide water planning efforts. However, we can all help manage our water resources here in Texas by using our existing water wisely.
To give you an idea of what is at stake if we don’t work to conserve our water supply, here are some examples of the role water plays in our lives.
Agriculture: Crops and animals depend on water to thrive and produce the food we require. According to the U.S. Geological Survey, producing one pound of chicken meat takes about 500 gallons of water, including water for the chickens to drink and for growing the grain they eat. A slice of bread takes about 10 gallons of water to produce.
Health and Wellness: Water makes up most of our body weight and helps perform essential functions. It helps regulate body temperature, flush out wastes from your body and protects your tissues and joints. And, of course, it helps prevent dehydration. According to the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, about 15.5 cups of water each day for men and about 11.5 cups daily for women will meet most people’s needed water intake. More water is needed if you live in a hotter region, like Texas.
Domestic use: The most visible use of water is within our homes. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, each American uses an average of 88 gallons of water daily at their home.
You might be surprised to learn how much water is needed for various tasks in your home.
• Each toilet flush uses two to seven gallons.
• A five-minute shower uses another 25 to 50 gallons.
• Depending on size, clothes washers can use 10 to 24 gallons of water each load.
We also use water to keep our homes clean, inside and out and to wash our cars. Other household water uses include irrigation for lawns, gardens and landscapes. This is by far the largest water user for homes with modest to large irrigated yards, which can use over 50,000 gallons per month during the summer.
Energy: Whenever you turn on the air-conditioner on a hot summer day or take food out of your refrigerator, you might be surprised to find that much of the electricity generated in Texas requires water to be used in the process. Coal or gas, nuclear and hydroelectric plants all require a steady supply of water to function.
To learn more about what you can do to help conserve water in your day-to-day life, click here.