Water is perhaps the very basic need that each and every human being needs. It is said in many circles that water is life. That is a phrase that many take for granted or tend to ignore more times than not. There have been many forums as well as meetings to discuss matters relating to water since the human species at times feels threatened by the levels by which people misuse this useful commodity. Many solutions have been in the offing regarding the means of water consumption in various spheres of life. Many scholars have researched the topic and have been able to write conclusively and widely on the topic. The articles vary in their area of specialization, but they all seem to have common grounds in water conservation.
Cooper and Weishaar (2012), look at the water conservation tips at home from three different angles they take into consideration the bathroom, the kitchen as well as outdoors. They try to analyze the three places that are crucial in each and every household when it come to matters of water consumption. In the bathroom, they hold the opinion that water can be in preservation through a number of processes. The processes include turning off the faucet while one is brushing. That makes sure that the water that would have been in losing if the faucet were left running is for the conservation, and only essential gallons of water are in use. They also propose that people should take short showers and turn off the water while they scrub their bodies.
They also go further to recommend that should replace bathroom leakages as soon as they are detected. That makes sure that the water is not in lose to the leaks. They also suggest that the family should strive to reduce the number of flashes. They use a motto that states “if it is yellow then let it mellow and if it is brown then flush it down.” In the kitchen, they propose that the family should strive to run a full dishwasher as opposed to washing the utensils under a running tap. They advocate that one should not dump water or ice from the drinking glasses down the drain and on the contrary they should use it in gardening (Cooper and Weishaar 2012). In outdoor activities, they also hold a number of convictions. They believe that watering the outdoor plants at the roots will help save on water usage. They also state that the plants should be in mulching once they have been watered so as to prevent evaporation of the water spent on watering them. Cooper and Weishaar (2012) also believe that only food bearing plants should be watered since they are more susceptible to wilting. They also state that the sideways and sidewalks should be swept and not be washed through the use of a hose.
According to Vaux (2011), governments put in place some measures to ensure that the citizens strive to conserve water. He says that they try to make a clear distinction between water conservation and water efficiency. They refer to water conservation as the reflection of behavioral changes and the changes lead to lesser consumption of water. The changes also help reduce water wastage. Water conservation, on the other part, can be used to refer to the technological changes that lead to more realistic water usage plans. That makes sure that water is in use in more acceptable ways. Water can be in conservation by the use of more efficient washing machines that do not need to use so many gallons of water in the cleaning process.
They also advise the general public to be water conscious especially when it come to bathing. They are aware of the notion that people spend more time in the baths claiming to be getting clean while they are only wasting water. They propose that people take showers for short periods and try to conserve water. They also state that the citizens should exercise leak- awareness. That will ensure that all leaks are detected and corrected as soon as possible. The authority has put in place some measure to ensure that the residents save on water consumption. They offer free water use kits to the people (Vaux 2011). The kits contain bathroom and kitchen aerators as well as leak detection tablets. They also try to carry out water efficiency checks so as to make sure the people save on water usage. They encourage people to harvest rainwater so as to use it in carrying out their daily chores.
Calvin Finch (2014) takes a different approach and looks at the technology that can help people in saving on water consumption at home. The introduction of modern high-efficiency toilets is one of the technological changes that aid in water conservation. The bathrooms make sure relatively smaller amounts of water are used in flushing. There is also the existence of the high-efficiency showerheads that ensure that water is conserved during baths. The world has also seen the introduction of water re-use systems. The systems help in the recycling of waste water. At home, on can put up the self-contained toilet that makes sure little or no water is lost.
Water harvesting systems are also part of the technological advancements that have been achieved in the field of water conservation. According to Finch (2014), water harvesting systems will ensure that people tap the rainwater and use it in making sure they cater for some of their water needs. He also believes that water planning will help conserve water since people will be able to plan how their water resources are in use.
Barry Popkin (2010) does not tread the path of water and agriculture. He opts to consider the relationship between water and the human anatomy. He says that water is life and in the human system, it helps to prevent incidences of dehydration. In older people, water composes about 55%, while in children it makes up about 76% of their total body mass. The water in the body helps perform crucial cellular functions such as homeostasis. The water is also vital to the daily dietary needs as well as in the digestion.
Water in the human body can result from foods that one eats daily, beverages as well as oxidation of micronutrients. The most notable source of water, however, is the water one takes directly on a regular basis. One needs to regulate their fluid intakes but also make sure that they do not get dehydrated in the name of checking fluid intakes (Popkin 2010). One also needs to check the fluid balance between two compartments that the water and mineral balance.
According to Dupont and Renzetti (2013), the issue of water conservation in the household puts into account the structure, level and non-price policies. It also involves social, demographic characteristics and finally the rate of change of water prices. Having that in mind, decision-making regarding outdoor and indoor water conservation practices becomes easier. Due to lack understanding of these basic water conservation principles, many people end up consuming high levels of water. As a result of the high water prices, especially in the developed countries, water proves to be one of the most challenging issues within the household. Therefore, there is need to input water conservation practices in our homes to avoid miscellaneous usage of water. According to the authors, indoor water conservation choices put into consideration the absence or the presence of low flow showers as well as low volume toilets in the rooms (Dupont and Renzetti 2013). The results of a quantitative research in the article prove more than a half of the households contain a high volume toilets and high flow rate showers.
That eventually contributes to high usage of water in carrying out the daily essential house activities. It is thereby advisable to install toilets that need minimum water usage. In fact, were it not that pit latrines cannot be conducive to be inside the house, they are an excellent example of toilets that need minimum water for their maintenance. On the other hand, outdoor water conservation choices involve the frequency of watering gardens and compound maintenance by the households (Dupont and Renzetti 2013). The author recommends a bivariate probit model for the indoor conservation and an ordered bivariate probit model for the outdoor maintenance. However, the potential endogeneity coming from price and non-price rate policies are investigated with the help of simultaneous equations approach. Hence, there is an evident correlation between indoor and outdoor water conservation choices in relation to price and non-prices policies.
Hamilton (2014) argues that, for effective studying of water conservation there needs to combine surveys done with billing-record data on households. The billing record data of 431 households is from a community that has recently undergone a water shortage problem. From the research results, the largest turn up of water conservation comes from families that have been using large water volumes in the past. The most known effective way of water usage reduction involves voluntary adjustments in private behavior. Regardless of the economic applicable measures of water conservation, there is needed to adjust personal behavior when it comes to usage of water in the house.
Idealistic motives are familiar with the young, better educated and more affluent households. In these households, tenants are in positions to apply the idealistic motives in conserving water. In contrast, the less educated and poorer prove to the economic reasons since many of them are unable to generate ideas that can be applied in conserving water. However, the research results have got both theoretical and practical implications (Hamilton 2014). Hence, income and education have indirect and direct effects on the motive. That makes them not to be perfect predictors of water conservation.
On the other hand, Jorgensen et al. (2009), recommends that water authorities ought to deal with the challenges of water conservation, to ensure availability of water for household use at any given time. For the water managers to be in a position to develop effective water conservation management programs, they need first to understand the factors influencing daily household water use. Following the results from the behavioral model of current water consumption, a new model is derived from an efficient understanding of the household water conservation. The authors argue that trust plays a significant role when it comes to issues of household water conservation.
Many people find it hard to apply water conservation measures, especially when they realize that their colleagues are not in a position to do as such. That is what is regarded as inter-personal trust (Jorgensen et al. 2009). Therefore, the conservation managers should strive to ensure that most people in the households portray an inter-personal trust characteristic in them. By so doing, people shall be in a position to make combined efforts in trying to minimize their daily water usage. Furthermore, people are likely, not to engage in water conservation models if they lose trust with the water authorities that manage water supply systems.
The idea of generating trust with water management institutions is referred to as the institutional trust. Therefore, it is the water authority agency duty to ensure that it provides sufficient services to their customer (Jorgensen et al. 2009). When clients develop institutional trust, they tend to use water conservatively bearing in mind that the institutions are also in line of conserving water to ensure frequent flow of water in the households. Hence, the article proposes that for an individual to fully understand the factors influencing household water use, it is important investigate the impact of trust on consumption of water.
In addition to that, Clark and Finley (2008), views the residential water conservation programs as significant in water management program. The article examines some of the opportunities and obstacles faced during household water conservation. The research paper aimed at collecting data on the attitudes of people regarding the issue of household water conservation measures. The results of the analysis indicate that the highest percentage of residents have no knowledge about water conservation practices and devices. That leads to many of them unable to apply these methods or even purchase some tools that help them in conserving water in their households. That is as a result of the ignorance portrayed by the local water companies on providing civic education to the residents on how to conserve water (Clark and Finley 2008).
Nevertheless, tenants show a positive attitude towards conserving water and they are ready to adopt new water conservation methods and embrace change in their water consumption behavior. Therefore, the burden lies in the hands of water conservation organizations. That is to ensure that residents of a given area have the right education on how to conserve water (Clark and Finley 2008). They should also make water conservation devices readily available to everyone even to those counted as less fortunate. By so doing, the issue of water conservation shall not be a threat to many anymore. That shall depend fully on the cooperation between water conservation institutions and the residents.
Popkin, B., D’Anci, K., & Rosenberg, I. (2010). Water, Hydration, and Health. Nutrition Reviews, 68(8), 439-458.
Finch, C. (2014). The Technology in Water Conservation. Texas Water Resource Institute, 24(3), 1-3.
Cooper, K., & Weishaar, C. (2012). Water Conservation Tips for the Home. Iowa State University.
Vaux, H. (2011). Water Conservation, Efficiency, and Reuse. Elements, 7(3), 187-191.
DuPont, D., & Renzetti, S. (2013). Household behavior related to water conservation. Water Resources and Economics.
Hamilton, L. (2014). Saving Water: A Causal Model of Household Water Conservation. Sociological Perspectives, 355-374.
Clark, W., & Finley, J. (2008). Household water conservation challenges in Blagoevgrad and Bulgaria: A descriptive study. Water International, 175-188.
Jorgensen, B., Graymore, M., & O’Toole, K. (2009). Household Water Use Behavior: An Integrated Model. Journal of Environmental Management, 227-236.
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