Monday, October 12, 2009

Water Usage - The World's Water is Slipping Through My Fingers!

Yes, Wild Man Jesse, the author of such groundbreaking blogs as "T. Boone Pickens Ain't Who I'm Pickin'" and "Behold Wild Man Jesse's Wild Diet, is himself an environmental abomination, a plague to the human race, because you see, Wild Man Jesse washes his hands AT LEAST FIFTEEN TIMES A DAY! The humanity. The wasted oceans, ravines, and watersheds. Whole submarine ecosystems wiped off the planet by the wiping of my hands.

OK, maybe I'm being a little melodramatic, but I do tend to use a lot of water on a daily basis, and I'm at about the halfway point between necessary hand-washings and OCD disorder. I must be stopped.

Here's a rundown of my water usage from 1 pm Sunday, October 11 to 1 pm Monday, October 12:


I awoke late Sunday morning, as the result of an unusually hard night of work on the previous eve. I made my customary trip to the restroom upon rising from bed, which involved a flushing of the latrine - 1.6 gallons of water - and a standard hand-washing - 1 cup.

Total water = 1.66 gallons

I proceeded to make myself breakfast, which included a class of water - 1.5 cups.

Total water = .09 gallons

I drank that water and refilled another glass with another 1.5 cups.

Total water = .09 gallons

Later I again used the rest room - 1.6 gallons - and washed my hands - 1 cup. I then used the shower which by my measurements uses 2.4 gallons.

Total water = 4.06 gallons

How did I arrive at that gallons per shower? First, I set a bucket in the shower and then turned the water on. I kept track of the time; usually it takes me about 5-6 minutes to take a shower. I'm at least saving water that way! I think that's a relatively short shower. Anyway, after about 6 minutes had elapsed, I took a measuring cup and found that the water was about 4 cups long, 3 cups wide, and 3 cups deep, therefore, there were 36 cups of water in the bucket. However, I usually have the water on at full power, and I noticed that the bucket did not capture all of the water, no matter how I positioned it. Therefore I divided that 36 cups by .85, which I thought accounted for the uncaught water. The resulting number I divided by 16, as there are 16 cups in a gallon: something I learned in elementary school!

Next I made my other preparations for work. I made a large cup of coffee - 1.5 cups -for the ride out to the airport and reused a bottled water bottle - 8 cups. Cleaning out the bottle ended up using a lot of water.

Total water = .59 gallons

While at work, I used the bathroom twice - 3.26 gallons, washed my hands about 4 times other than when I was using the men's room - 4 cups, and drank a Starbuck's Frappucinno - .5 cup, and a 1.5 cups can of iced tea/lemonade.

Total water = 3.64 gallons

Upon returning home, I washed my hands - 1 cup, and took another shower - 2.4 gallons.

Total water = 2.46 gallons

I then made some food, washing my hands again - 1 cup, and I had 1.5 cups of water with my meal.

Total water = .16 gallons

I brushed my teeth - 1.5 cups - and washed my hands - 1 cup - before going to bed.

Total water = .16 gallons

The next day I woke up at 8:30 am and went to the commode, which involved a toilet flush - 1.6 gallons, a hand washing - 1 cup, washing of my hair - .5 cup, and the brushing of my teeth - 1.5 cups. I also poured myself a cup of water - 1.5 cups.

Total water = 1.88 gallons

It was time to go tutor at Edison Community College. While there I used the rest room, with another toilet flushing - 1.6 gallons, a hand washing - 1 cup, and a bottle of soda - 2.5 cups.

Total water = 1.82 gallons

This was all the water usage I had for that particular 24 hour period, but I will include numbers for the dishwasher, laundry machine, and for shaving, for the sake of argument.

Dishwasher - 7.8 gallons for a normal load.
Laundry machine - 45 gallons
Shaving - .16 gallons

Grand totals:
Day without additions - 16.61
Day with additions - 69.57 gallons

Clearly there is a large difference in the day without additions and the day with additions, mostly due to the laundry machine. My house has a top loading laundry machine, which I read at the Whirlpool website - - uses significantly more water than a front loading machine. I will admit that the machine is in use a lot in my house and efforts should be made to curb that.

All and all, I don't use too great of an amount of water, IF I don't do laundry or dishes. In all it amounted to a third of one load of laundry. Of course, with everything else included, there is a problem! I also think I wash my hands too much, perhaps I should invest in hand sanitizer again. Ever since I was a kid, I've had a slight phobia of germs, nothing too crazy, but I like to feel clean. Furthermore, I will see if my folks are willing to purchase a front loading washing machine.

One final note, I am confused about what to do with water bottles, my parents keep buying them, and I'd like to recycle them, but at the same time, whenever I reuse a bottle, I end up using a lot of water to wash it. I guess I need to buy a bunch of washable, durable water bottles and tell my parents to ease up on the throw-away bottles.

I am much more aware of my water usage after this exercise!

No comments:

Post a Comment