A couple of weekends ago, my roommates and I had the pleasure of a burst pipe in our basement. Of course, we ran around like chickens with our heads cut off trying to find somebody who knew where the water shut-off valve was. But nobody seemed to know until one heroic neighbor stepped in.
We spent the rest of that Saturday cleaning up 3–4 inches of frigid water after losing feeling in our toes in the first few minutes.
To celebrate the conclusion of our Herculean feat, we sat down and shared snacks. We’d saved water in bath tubs so that we could at least flush the toilet manually. But, faced with only a gallon or two of bottled water, we really started to think about how we use water on a daily basis. One roommate—who by the way is not in an environmental field—commented that flushing using tub-water made her think about how much water our toilets really use. And to add insult to injury, it is highly-treated, drinkable water. Our own mini-water crisis forced us to experience the harsh realities of fresh water shortages faced by a growing percentage of the world.
So the next time you brush, flush, or shower, think about how you could conserve. I know I will.