Water Wisdom

Written by Plant With Purpose on March 4, 2014 in General

Did you know that a five-minute shower uses more water than the average amount of water used by someone in a developing country over an entire day? Or that 780 million people in the world lack access to clean water? Water, essential to life, is as precious as ever. As people blessed with safe water, let’s be conscious of our water consumption and take action to secure access to water for those who do not enjoy the same privileges.

Below are some adjustments  you can make to develop habits that will save water and money:

In the bathroom

  1. Switch to low flow toilets and low flow shower head.
  2. For a cheap low flow toilet, put a brick in your bowl. Most toilets will still be fully functional with a little less water being flushed.

In the kitchen

  1. Use that dishwasher! Dishwashers are more water-efficient than washing each plate by hand.
  2. Get a sink bucket that can catch your excess water. Instead of having water flow straight down the drain, water your indoor plants with this recycled water.

In the garden

  1. Kill your lawn. That beautiful green grass is actually a water consuming monster! It is both an economically and environmentally astute decision to gravitate towards drought resistant plants, especially here in California.
  2. Develop an efficient irrigation system. Make sure that the watering you are using is effective in supplying your plants with just enough water.
  3. Capture water with good design. Try to pay attention to where moisture will collect and plant accordingly.
  4. Make use of shade. Shaded plants require less water.
  5. Harvest rainwater to redistribute to your plants.

Dietary choices

Believe it or not, your dietary choices also contribute to overall water usage. There is significantly less water involved in the production of food choices that are lower on the food chain. Choosing to eat plant-based proteins will dramatically lessen your water “footprint.”

Here are some a few statistics on how many gallons of water are utilized in producing our food:

  • Lettuce — 15 gallons
    A Tanzanian boy smiles in front of his community's new cistern.

    A Tanzanian boy smiles in front of his community’s new cistern.

  • Apples — 83 gallons
  • Wheat Bread — 154 gallons
  • Tofu — 244 gallons
  • Nuts — 368 gallons
  • Chocolate — 2847 gallons
  • Chicken — 815 gallons
  • Beef — 2500-5000 gallons

What to do with the money you save by conserving water?

Through Plant with Purpose, you can fund the construction of a community cistern. Cisterns conserve water and supply life to rural communities who lack access to safe water year round. Visit

One Plant With Purpose supporter recently purchased a cistern share, saying, “I have been thinking and praying about our drought lately which helped me realize how tough it must be in many lands you work in. Creating sustainable communities at home and abroad may be our best hope.” Join us in creating sustainable communities through water conservation!

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