|Lou Leet, Environmental Specialist
Google “map of the world” and the links will probably show a map of the Earth with what looks like an abundance of water. But, if you dig a little deeper, you’ll see that only about 3 percent of that water is fresh water, and that about 2 percent is frozen in glaciers, leaving only about 1 percent available for human consumption. In the meantime, while the U.S. population doubled between 1950 and 2000, water usage in the home generally tripled – with the highest percentage of drinking water used for watering our lawns! Adding in the water that is used to produce the food and goods that we purchase, our average per capita water usage in the United States is approximately 61,000 gallons per year, while the average use for the rest of the world is approximately 30,500 gallons per year. Fresh water use is a world-wide concern.
Closer To Home
American Canyon relies primarily on the California State Water Project for its drinking water supply. American Canyon’s water originates in the Sierra snow pack, flowing into Lake Oroville (north of Sacramento) and then follows the North Bay Aqueduct to Barker’s Slough in Fairfield, and finally to the City’s Water Treatment Plant on Kirkland Ranch Road.
In one of many City efforts to maximize efficient use of fresh drinking water, installation of a new one-million gallon Reclaimed Water Tank on Newell Drive was completed. The tank will provide safe, treated water from the Wastewater Treatment Plant for irrigation. Reclaimed water, also known as “purple-pipe water” (because it really does run through purple pipe rather than black, gray or white pipe), will save drinking water for other first-time uses in our community. The City continues to seek additional drinking water sources and storage options.
In the long run, increasing water use also means increasing costs for expanding water treatment facilities and sewer infrastructure in our City. Fortunately, there is a lot that we can do on many levels to reduce our water consumption. From finding and fixing leaks, to changing habits, to installing water-saving devices like low-flow showerheads and water-efficient toilets, there are many ways we can painlessly save water in our homes.
If we each save a little, we all save a lot! Save your dollars and help conserve water by staying informed about California’s water picture and checking out the easy ways you can save water by following the links below.
Information for Children
Ways to Save Water