Seems like everyone is talking about but is anyone listening… Climate control and the environment are hot topics in politics and in general nowadays. What is the big deal? The Earth is made of water, why should I care? We all should care, but that is easier said than done. I grew up being taught not to leave the faucet running while I brush my teeth, take shorter showers, make them cool or slightly warm instead of hot. I never really thought to ask what the real reason was, instead of the answer I got, because I said so. Which as a child and teen, meant that the water and electric bill was getting too high and it was my fault for letting the water run. Oh and let’s not forget the summer where I ran the well dry by using my homemade slip and slide….
I find myself as an adult and as a parent, giving my kids the same “I told you so” answer to why they need to turn off the water or the light switches. I know that we need to conserve our resources and do what we can for the environment. And what do my kids do for an hour in the shower, seriously…..
What and why is water conservation important? That is a hot topic these days, everyone seems to be talking about the Earth’s water supply. The Earth looks like it has tons of water, but did you know that only 3% of all the water on Earth is fresh water, and of that only 1/2% is suitable for drinking. That is shocking!!
Water is necessary for everything! All plants, animals, humans, the entire food chain depends on water to live. Water usage has been on the rise not only, because of the growing agriculture, increase in industries, increasing population and higher living standards are boosting demand. But also periods of droughts, over-use, and general misuse of the water supply have decreased the supply, causing us to take water from lakes, rivers, streams, and wetlands. Taking water from these sources is causing ecosystems to crumble.
Scary but true, agriculture is the leading water consumer beating out industries and public consumers by a long shot! Water conservation is a hot topic all across the board. We are constantly hearing about the need to save and reduce our water consumption. People are looking at farms in particular, as a place where there needs to be more water conservation happening. Farms are big water users from crops, to animals, to cleaning and sanitizing equipment, farms use approximately 70% of freshwater.
Ways to Reduce Water Consumption in the Maternity Area:
- Look for leaks in faucets, pipes, and hoses. A leaky faucet can waste more than 3,000 gallons of water per year!!
- Insulate water pipes. This will help you to not only reduce heat loss but help raise water temperatures faster.
- Look for ways to standardize and streamline your cleaning protocols.
- Use single-use items like disposable colostrum bags and tube feeders, this will lessen excess water and chemical usage. Saving you not only time but also money in chemicals and also helps to conserve water usage.
- Don’t leave the faucet running while you are cleaning and sanitizing your equipment.
- Invest in equipment that saves water, like using a dedicated thaw bath for thawing colostrum. This will eliminate the need to fill a sink with warm water at every feeding. You can fill the tank once and use the same water for several feedings. Don’t thaw colostrum with running water.
These seem like simple steps to start identifying other areas on the farm and in our homes to conserve water. Taking the necessary steps to conserve and reduce our water consumption will not only help us today but for future generations as well. If we continue with our current trends of water usage, the EPA believes that by 2024, nearly 40 states will have water shortages.