Resource Management

Resource Management
On a daily basis the average American wakes up, brushes their teeth, showers, flushes the toilet, and drives to work. During their lunch break they usually drive somewhere to get a meal, and drive back to work. After work they drive home, make dinner, maybe watch some television or read a book, and then go to bed.
While living on the Gato Verde for about three weeks, we learned a lot about the resources we use on a daily basis and some of the thing we take for granted, like water. Every day we measured how much water was used and calculated the amount of water we used per person per day. On average we had 6 people living on a 42 foot catamaran using 18 gallons per day, or approximately 3gallons/person/day. I assumed this was a significant amount of water to be using, considering it was only used to wash dishes by hand, brush teeth, flush the toilet in the head, and occasionally wash hair. After doing a bit of research I was surprised to learn that the average American per day uses 80-100 gallons of water. Most of this water is used for bathing/showering and flushing a toilet. With such a large amount of water being used every day, by each person, it is astonishing that many of us never think about the amount of water we are using, and where it is coming from. Because water is so accessible to most Americans, it seems that we often forget not only the amount of water that we are using daily, but also the other resources being used so that we can have water at the turn of a faucet.
While it is nice to have the convenience of water at our finger tips, it is important to remember that clean, useable water is not easy to acquire in many parts of the world, and there are many costs associated with using such a large amount of water. Next time you flush your toilet, think about how much water was just use, and how many chemicals will be needed to treat the waste water before it is sent back out into the environment.

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