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Old 04-06-2014, 08:04 AM
 
Location: Springfield, Ohio
12,193 posts, read 10,366,702 times
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This forum has been educational for me on how to live better, so I have a question regarding all the talk of ways to save/reuse water on this forum: Is it necessary in a part of the US or North America which sees plenty of rain and/or snow throughout the year?
We recently bought a house, a gut-to-stud remodel funded by the federal Neighborhood Stabilization Program, which includes many green features such as water-saving toilets and rain-barrels. The water-saving features may be a bit easier on the wallet, but are they necessarily "green" in areas such as the Great Lakes region or the Pacific Northwest which does not have the water issues of, say, the American West?
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Old 04-06-2014, 10:11 AM
Zot
 
Location: 3rd rock from a nearby star
468 posts, read 579,359 times
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I think water conserving toilets and plumbing fixtures have been mandated since 1992. As to reusing water, it's always been reused. Search water cycle. Water naturally recycles.
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Old 04-06-2014, 10:41 AM
 
Location: Central Florida
2,063 posts, read 1,855,516 times
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In Bermuda they have developed a rain collection system on the roofs of the houses . I would love to have a house that can do that.
This Roof Resists Hurricanes, Collects Water | Roofing | House Exterior | This Old House
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Old 04-06-2014, 10:50 AM
 
Location: The analog world
17,087 posts, read 9,800,340 times
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One thing to consider, even if you live in a place with plentiful water, is where your water eventually ends up. Are people downstream experiencing shortages? If so, that's good enough for me to practice conservation.

Last edited by randomparent; 04-06-2014 at 11:41 AM..
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Old 04-06-2014, 11:28 AM
 
7,281 posts, read 8,833,971 times
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Resources should always be conserved, anything else is wasteful.

The abundance of water is not guaranteed.
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Old 04-06-2014, 12:10 PM
 
Location: Port Charlotte
3,926 posts, read 4,742,814 times
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The use of rain barrels for irrigation, etc is a good idea. Cities use sewer rates as a general fund tax, not realistically based on actual cost. The sewer rates are based on water usage. So low-flow toilets, recycled water for irrigation, etc will save you money that would go to feed a government.
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Old 04-06-2014, 12:20 PM
Zot
 
Location: 3rd rock from a nearby star
468 posts, read 579,359 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mack Knife View Post
Resources should always be conserved, anything else is wasteful.

The abundance of water is not guaranteed.
Yes and no, we live on a water planet. Potable water in some places may be scarce or expensive, however most live where water is more or less plentiful. If climate changes, people will move to where water is abundant regardless of intermediate steps to conserve imo.
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Old 04-06-2014, 02:33 PM
 
Location: Volcano
12,971 posts, read 23,539,229 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zot View Post
Yes and no, we live on a water planet.
That statement overlooks the significant fact that less than 3% of the water on earth is potable fresh water. And in most industrialized countries the majority of the potable water supply in urban areas is used to transport sewage and to maintain lawns and landscaping. Now we're seeing dramas play out around the globe such as the one in California where farmers are unable to plant crops because 100% of the water normally alloted to irrigation is instead being sent to the cities. And all that salt water out there in the oceans is of no help, whatsoever.

Quote:
Potable water in some places may be scarce or expensive, however most live where water is more or less plentiful.
According to UN figures a third of the population of the planet does not. This is not a trivial issue.

Quote:
If climate changes, people will move to where water is abundant regardless of intermediate steps to conserve imo.
There is no IF. Climate is changing. Conserving water is not just about the water itself, but also about conserving the energy requireed to harvest it, process it, transport it, and then dispose of the waste after use. So conserving water also reduces
carbon emissions, chemical usage, infrastructure requirements, etc.
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Old 04-07-2014, 11:53 AM
Zot
 
Location: 3rd rock from a nearby star
468 posts, read 579,359 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OpenD View Post
That statement overlooks the significant fact that less than 3% of the water on earth is potable fresh water. And in most industrialized countries the majority of the potable water supply in urban areas is used to transport sewage and to maintain lawns and landscaping. Now we're seeing dramas play out around the globe such as the one in California where farmers are unable to plant crops because 100% of the water normally alloted to irrigation is instead being sent to the cities. And all that salt water out there in the oceans is of no help, whatsoever.
I so dislike multi-part answers, but will respond in kind if that is the custom in this forum.

3% of a near infinite quantity of water is potable, this is a good thing, it means more potable water than all fauna on earth can consume.

California and the desert southwest generally have experienced very long droughts, of up to 100 years during the past 1,000. In the same time, the last 200 years have been the wettest. I do not believe it is rational to believe living in a desert is a good place to find water. However, many millions do. If or as the water dries up, we can hope for desalination, or global warming to add humidity and forestall drought, or for newer methods of obtaining or recycling water to be developed. Any combination would work.

Farmers in California particularly have had a water problem which is only solved via dam and water irrigation infrastructure. If California farmers can't continue to obtain sufficient water, they will cease to grow or switch to more drought tolerant crops. It is unfortunate, but people perhaps had unrealistic expectations for the desert southwest for many years.

Quote:
Originally Posted by OpenD View Post
According to UN figures a third of the population of the planet does not. This is not a trivial issue.
Population not near potable water must be helped, fortunately people are adaptable and mobile. I assume there are methods of water purification available. A lot of water may be self polluted (sewage deposited directly into rivers or lakes for example) and my be remediable over time.

Quote:
Originally Posted by OpenD View Post
There is no IF. Climate is changing. Conserving water is not just about the water itself, but also about conserving the energy requireed to harvest it, process it, transport it, and then dispose of the waste after use. So conserving water also reduces
carbon emissions, chemical usage, infrastructure requirements, etc.
Climate always changes, we are in an interglacial period, during the past 3+ million years 80% of the time our world has been in an ice age. The most likely situation is our interglacial period will end, the glaciation of the world will resume, and a dryer, cooler less habitable world will be created. The vast majority of humanity will need to relocate to more tropical climes, making any concerns about warming migration seem trivial.
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Old 04-07-2014, 12:11 PM
 
39,194 posts, read 40,579,931 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vanguardisle View Post
In Bermuda they have developed a rain collection system on the roofs of the houses . I would love to have a house that can do that.
This Roof Resists Hurricanes, Collects Water | Roofing | House Exterior | This Old House
We collect from the one downspout for the garden, that's because I'm cheap. We're on well water and there is no issues where I live with water, matter of fact this is the time of year there is too much of it and it runs into a few places in the basement.
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