Rain Barrel

Clean drinking water is essential to life as we know it. Yet we literally flush it away.

The developing world is getting more and more people (i.e., water drinkers),And we here in America are building bigger houses on bigger lawns and paving new roads to get to them. This really messes with the earths water systems, which rely on water to slowly filter its way through soil, wetlands, streams and rivers in order to be clean and available for us. Rushing into the storm drains dosent fulfill these functions

It's not all bad news though. There are plenty of simple things you can do to cut your water use considerably: take shorter showers; keep the faucets turned OFF when washing vegetables, shaving, brushing teeth or washing hands; lose the lawn... the list really is as long as your imagination. For those wanting to go a little further, why not follow the old hippy adage - "If it's yellow, let it mellow. If it's brown, flush it down." That's right, if you think about it, there really is very little need to flush every time you visit the bathroom.

Agriculture also puts huge strains on our water resources. Sustainable agriculture can help, by increasing the amount of water-holding organic matter in the soil, and by irrigating wisely, so remember to buy organic produce wherever possible (check out our guide to organics here). Eating less meat can also make a huge difference - some estimates say that a vegetarian diet can require as little as 300 gallons of water a day, while a meat eaters diet demands as much as 4000! Food for thought indeed...

Since we waste so much water, its pretty easy to conserve it. Go here for tips:

Water - Use It Wisely
Great tips on how to easily save gallons of water a day.
How to Green Your Water
The ever informative TreeHugger's guide on all aspects of greening your water use. For the more hardcore, you can also check out Larry's ally, and TreeHugger correspondent, Sami Grover's tips on the Selective Flush and the Navy Shower.
American Water Works Association
A great page with virtually unlimited resources and books about conservation.