For the first time in history, fresh water has become a finite resource. Many experts agree that, without significant changes in water policy, wars of the 21st century may be fought, not over oil, but for control of clean water. We Are Water is an imaginative, entertaining, and enlightening documentary, illustrating the fragile relationship between our planet’s endangered fresh water resources, and the ever increasing needs of our expanding population.
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HOW TO HELP

IN THE BATHROOM

  • Turn off water while brushing teeth – save 360 liters per week
  • Fix a dripping tap – save 300 gallons per year
  • Reduce shower form seven to four minutes – save 60 liters each time
  • Install low flow shower head – save 11 liters per minute, 750 gallons/month
  • Install dual flush toilet – save 50% each flush
  • Put a plug in basin while shaving – 9 liters per minute
  • Capture shower water for the garden
  • Flush less – save 2 to 7 gallons each time
  • Put a brick in the toilet tank – save a liter each flush
  • Turn off water while you shampoo and condition your hair – save 50 gallons a week Pee while you shower!

IN THE KITCHEN

  • Turn off water while cleaning up the kitchen – save 100 gallons per week
  • Buy a water efficient dishwasher – save 50% each time
  • Only wash a full load of dishes – save 120 gallons per month
  • Use economy setting on dishwasher – save 4 liters
  • Compost instead of using your garbage disposal – save 9 liters per minute
  • Catch running water while it warms up
  • Plug the sink to rinse dishes or veggies
  • Defrost the night before instead of using running water 
  • Use a wash basin in sink, then recycle water to the garden
  • Fix a drip – save up to 75 liters a day
  • Save cold water in the fridge instead of running the tap
  • Become a part time vegetarian
  • Eat less meat Install a low flow faucet – save 50% of your water use
  • Buy WaterSense appliances
  • Use veggie rinse water on plants
  • Reuse the same drinking glass all day
  • Soak and scrape pots and pans rather than running water
  • Reuse veggie cooking water for tasty soup stock

IN THE LAUNDRY

  • Use a water efficient washing machine – save 30 gallons every load
  • Only wash a full load of laundry – saves 10 liters
  • Consider installing a grey water system to recycle laundry water
  • Pretreat stains so they only get washed once
  • But EnergyStar appliances
  • Use natural soap nuts instead of detergent
  • Attach a hose to your washing machine outlet pipe for use in the garden

AT HOME

  • Use old fish tank water on plants
  • Teach kids to turn off faucets properly
  • Reduce the distance from the water heater to the sink
  • Try on-demand water heaters for the shower or kitchen Insulate hot water pipes to retain heat
  • Look for EPA WaterSense labels
  • Drink tap water
  • Avoid putting medications in the toilet
  • Avoid putting chemicals in the toilet or down the sink
  • Don’t put fat and grease down the sink
  • Mix it with bird seeds and invite birds to your garden
  • Buy a used car. It takes 120,000 to make a new one
  • Reuse clothing. It takes 1800 gallons to make a pair of blue jean
  •  Drive less. It takes 70 gallons of water to produce one gallon of gas.
  • Give $15 to CharityWater.org so someone in the developing world can have a clean water supply.
  • Ride your bicycle instead of driving.
  • Think before you buy. Is there something you can recycle or reuse?  

IN THE YARD

  • Irrigate early or late but not in the sunny part of the day
  • Avoid irrigating on windy days
  • Use less fertilizer
  • Create more shade in your yard to retain moisture in your plants and lawn
  • Use rain barrels
  • Eliminate herbicides
  • Pull weeds instead of using RoundUp
  • Replace part of the lawn with pebbles
  • Plants more shrubs Mulch and compost your garden
  • Use old blankets, carpet or cardboard in between crop rows for weed barriers
  • Group veggies in your garden by water needs
  • Mulch the garden to reduce evaporation – reduces watering 70%
  • Aerate and spike lawns in the spring for deep roots and drought tolerance
  • Check the pool for leaks – 500 liters per day
  • Cover the pool or hot tub (or just get rid of it)
  • Don’t trim the grass too short – longer needs less water
  • Plant drought resistant native plants
  • Direct rain gutters to plants that need it
  • Pee in the yard
  • Cover rain barrels
  • If you irrigate on a timer, install a rain shutoff
  • Pee in your compost pile
  • Direct the air conditioner drips to plants that need it
  • If you have to water, use drip irrigation
  • Check outdoor taps for leaks – save 1000 liters per year
  • Water the garden with a trigger nozzle not a sprinkler
  • Use a bucket and sponge to wash the car
  • Go to a car wash that reuses water
  • Wash your car on the lawn 
  • Collect rainwater for the garden
  • Sweep the driveway instead of hosing it down
  • Look for leaks – check water meter for two hours during no consumption period
  • Add walkway pavers and patio areas and let them runoff to garden
  • Plant more shrubs and ground cover to reduce the lawn
  • Water plants deeply but less often to improve drought tolerance
  • Learn where your master water shutoff valve is located
  • Let your lawn go dormant Wash the dog on the grass  

AT SCHOOL

  • Report leaking taps and toilets to teachers – save 300 gallons
  • Nominate a water monitor to look for leaks
  • Put up posters to remind each other to turn off taps
  • Wash art supplies in a recycled ice cream container
  • Learn how to monitor the water meter
  • Ask your science teacher to help locate your watershed
  • Use less paper
  • Learn how to read a water meter

AT THE OFFICE

  • Wash dishes once at the end of the day
  • Appoint a daily dish washer
  • Upgrade to dual flush toilets
  • Talk about water conservation measures in staff meetings
  • Use less paper
  • Determine if there is a way to reuse water at your business
  • Conduct a water audit of your company
  • Use a refillable water bottle for drinking

ON VACATION

  • Reuse hotel towels
  • Drink tap water if safe
  • Use a refillable water bottle
PROTECT OUR FUTURE

DRINK TAP WATER – Be an example for others. Disposable water bottles waster water and money. It takes 5 quarts to make one bottle of water and a quarter of a bottle of oil to make, transport and dispose of the water. Refill a water bottle and drink safe, clean tap water. You’ll save money.

REDUCE YOUR WATER FOOTPRINT – Click on this site: Water Footprint Calculator to learn about how much water is needed to support your lifestyle. The average American needs 1800 gallons of water per day, twice as much as the rest of the planet. This will help you reduce your use.

REDUCE, REUSE AND RECYCLE – Basic conservation helps save water. Turn off running taps. Shop at a thrift store. Stream movies. Download music instead of buying CDs. Shop at bulk stores with less packaging. Carry re-useable shopping bags.
EAT LOW ON THE FOOD CHAIN – Plant based nutrition requires less water than meat to bring to market. Consider being at least a part time vegetarian. A simple hamburger takes over 600 gallons to produce. Support your local farmer’s market.

THINK ABOUT THE WORLD BENEATH YOUR FEET – Everything you do on the surface of the land will be returned to you in drinking water. Dispose of things such as household chemicals and prescription drugs properly or you will be drinking them later.

Download cool activities for kids aged 7-14!

Junior-Ranger-Booklet

Chester the Manatee and the Very, Very, Terribly, Bad Itch

By | All Posts, Cave Diving, Rebreather Diving, Sidemount Diving, Underwater Photo and Video, We Are Water, Women Underwater | No Comments

ChesterCoverFRONTChester the manatee is making his debut! I approved the final proof this morning and placed an order for the first shipment of books. I am really excited to offer up a beautifully illustrated children’s book that will help instill and environmental ethic at an early age. Sometimes I am not sure if it is too late to change the core values and daily practices of adults, but I know I can help kids to love their water resources and want to protect them.

I’ll make a post as soon as the books are available of sale. All proceeds continue to drive the We Are Water Project efforts at spreading water literacy around the world.

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Chester the Manatee and the Very, Very, Terribly Bad Itch

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ChesterCoverFRONT

We’re very close to releasing a children’s book that will help teach lessons about water conservation. Beyond that message, it helps build self esteem in kids to teach them that anything is possible and that their own unique qualities will help save the world! We want every young person to feel empowered to take on great things. The book is a part of the mission of We Are Water and we hope to publish it in numerous languages for a wide audience.

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Save Water in Ways You Never Imagined

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By Alex Rose – Huffington Post

How to Take Long Showers and Still Save the World From Drought

Posted: Updated: 
Worried about California’s water crisis? NASA research says the state only has a one year supply left in its reservoirs and some people are sweating.

I was at a gym in Los Angeles and left the water running while shaving in the locker room. Somebody walked up to me and asked, in the most condescending tone possible, “How much water do you think you’re wasting?”

His heart was in the right place. His math wasn’t.

If you eat just six fewer 4-oz burgers per year it’ll save as much water as not showering. The. Whole. Year.

Federal standards cap sink faucets at 2.2 gallons per minute and shower heads at 2.5 gpm (with high efficiency standards at 1.5 gpm or less). These don’t seem like our real problem. Cows, on the other hand, are thirsty. It can take over 1,200 gallons to produce a single 8-oz steak, the same amount of water as a 10-hour shower.

You don’t have to skip flushes and flick off the faucet while brushing your teeth. It’s great if you do those things, but not if you become drop wise and bucket foolish. A few smarter choices can make you a water conservationist even if you shower an hour each day. (But don’t shower an hour each day … that’d just be weird.)

Pay attention even if you don’t live in California. A lot of things you buy (especially those you eat) are made here with our dwindling water supply. Most of these tricks have been tested in my own home so I can assure you it’s easy. Water use estimates can vary, so click the links for more information.

1. EAT LESS MEAT
I’m not advocating vegetarianism, just cut back once in awhile. Estimates range from 1,800 to 8,400 gallons of water needed to produce a single pound of beef. The cows aren’t just drinking it, they eat a lot of feed — which takes yet more water to grow. It’s the thirstiest menu choice you can make, using over 10 times the amount of water as an equivalent amount of chicken. California’s livestock industry uses a staggering 188 million of gallons of water per day, and we use 2 billion nationally (these numbers include other farm animals, but cows take a disproportionate share). Americans average three hamburgers per week, so you still might be able to eat at In-N-Out twice before Friday and be cutting back. If you switch to a turkey burger, that’s reducing at least 75% of the water used for an equivalent amount of beef. Pork products use up to 50% more water than poultry, but again nowhere near as much as beef. If you haven’t tried veggie burgers, some are actually pretty good (especially when they’re not trying to be the real thing) and all use a tiny fraction of the water that meat does. Participate in Meatless Monday and suddenly you’re a water-saving rockstar. And don’t think that you’ll only help California if the cattle was raised here. The state uses an estimated 100 billion gallons of water per year to grow feed that gets shipped to cows as far away as China, Korea and the United Arab Emirates. It’s a vicious and inefficient cycle, no matter how tasty.

2. READ THE LABEL BEFORE YOU BUY JEANS
The dying process for a single pair of jeans can take nearly 3,000 gallons of water, enough to fill up jacuzzis for you and 40 of your closest friends. Also surprising, 75% of designer jeans sold worldwide are still manufactured in drought-stricken California. It’s those expensive ones that are probably going to take the most water to “wash” the denim into that must-have look, as opposed to ones made cheaply overseas (hopefully somewhere with plenty of water, anyway). It’s still ideal to buy made-in-the-USA, so look for labels mentioning a recycled- or low-water process. As for that urban legend about saving water with jeans: Don’t put them in your freezer instead of washing them. This idea went viral (errr, bacterial?) after the CEO of Levi’s suggested it could save water and keep them in good condition. The company later ditched the concept and microbiologists don’t recommend it.

3. STOP WASTING FOOD
It takes water to produce food and that’s OK. But that means wasting food is also wasting water. Four ounces of cheese can use up 150 gallons. A single egg needs 50 gallons, which you may recall is roughly a 25-minute shower. Four ounces of rice can fall somewhere in between. A pound of chicken uses about 600 gallons and, as you’ve learned, beef can be 10 times that. Again, this doesn’t just apply to residents in a drought region. If you live anywhere in the United States, odds are very good that your next meal will have water-guzzling ingredients from California. It’s common sense: Use your leftovers and don’t buy the Costco size if half of it will end up in the trash. (Figures converted from metric equivalents on the Pacific Institute’s worldwater.org.)

4. THINK TWICE ABOUT LEATHER
You know that eating cows uses a lot of water, so you probably guessed that wearing them isn’t much better. A pound of leather takes almost 1,000 gallons to produce, even after factoring out the share of water for beef. This adds up quickly in shoes, jackets, purses, furniture and car seats. There are situations in life where it’s tough to avoid leather. But there are often better synthetics for the job. And if you’re a guy considering leather pants … don’t. I’m not even telling you that to save water (though it will), but to save our eyes.

5. GO PAPERLESS
A typical sheet of paper takes 2.6 gallons of water to produce. While recycling is a good start (saving 3.5 gallons per pound of paper), it’s time to turn the tables and give our paper a cut. Digital newspaper subscriptions and books on e-readers will save water, trees and, generally, your wallet. Per Slate: “It takes about seven gallons to produce the average printed book, while e-publishing companies can create a digital book with less than two cups of water. (E-book publishers consume water, like any other company, through the paper they use and other office activities.) Researchers estimate that 79 gallons of water are needed to make an e-reader. So you come out on top, water-wise, after reading about a dozen books.”

6. FIX LEAKS
Happy Fix a Leak Week. No, really. It’s a thing. Running March 16-22 this year, the EPA promotes it for obvious reasons. Not so obvious is that they estimate the average household can lose 10,000 gallons a year on leaks. Your shower lasts just minutes, but your broken fixture never stops. Even 10 drips per minute can add up to 500 gallons annually. If your working fixtures predate federal regulations from 1994 (odds are low given you clearly own a computer or mobile device to read this), you should consider them leaky as a matter of principle. Adding an aerator to limit the flow may be cheaper than replacement. When replacing anything that uses water, look for a WaterSense label for even more savings.

7. PUT A COVER ON YOUR POOL
Few things scream “California” like owning a pool, though not everybody has one to cover. If you do, you may already know that the annual evaporation can equal … the entire pool. I didn’t find a definitive study, but the consensus from newspaperwebsites and cities seems to be that a typical pool can hold nearly 20,000 gallons and can lose up to that much to evaporation if left uncovered for a year. The cost of a cheap cover can be mostly offset by the cost of topping off. While rain can also counteract the problem, that’s been a rare luxury in sunny California.

8. TELECOMMUTE WHEN YOU CAN
Sorry, boss, I didn’t want to drive into work today because we’re having a drought. A gallon of gas can take multiple gallons of water to produce. It’s been a while since anybody reexamined the issue, but a 1994 study calculated it’s 1 to 2.5 gallons “consumed” (not to be confused with the 12.5 gallons “withdrawn,” meaning it was used for cooling but returned to the source). California refineries pump out roughly 80 million gallons of oil per day, more than 10% of the U.S. total. And when your tires wear out, it’ll take over 2,000 gallons of water to make their replacements. A whole new car? That can take 39,000 gallons of water, mostly for steel production. Yes, your computer parts require water, too, but you’d probably be using one wherever you’re physically working. Skype, Google Docs and other collaborative tools don’t have the same impact. In fact, you’ve probably noticed your computer is averse to water. It’s harder to measure what you conserve from commuting than some of the other suggestions here and it’s probably less significant. Still, it adds up and there’s a critical link between water and energy use overall.

DISHONORABLE MENTION: CHOCOLATE
A pound of chocolate takes over 3,000 gallons of water to produce. We already call it a guilty pleasure, but don’t feel bad. It takes a while to eat a whole pound and a lot of it comes from regions with plenty of water. When have you ever tasted a California-grown cocoa bean, anyway? Of course, this story is about informed choices, so if you can live without it … more for me.

You may have noticed I didn’t included any lawn care information. That’s really a subject of its own. According to the EPA, “The typical suburban lawn consumes 10,000 gallons of water above and beyond rainwater each year.” You can only cut back so much before you have a barren moonscape, and a responsible homeowner should already have some idea of what they’re doing. Check out the EPA website for specific advice.

BONUS: THINGS YOU DON’T HAVE TO GIVE UP

While all water conservation is good, not all water conservation is equal. If you make a few smarter choices listed above, you really shouldn’t feel guilty about the things listed below — provided you don’t over-indulge. Comparatively, these are just a drop in the bucket.

  1. DRINKING WATER: Most people should drink more water. Don’t cut back and don’t worry about all those glasses at a restaurant.
  2. SHOWERS: At 2 gallons per minute, wash up.
  3. COFFEE: It takes 37 gallons of water to make a cup, but if it was grown near a rainforest you probably shouldn’t feel too concerned about the water supply. “If” is the operative word, so try to look for brands certified as sustainable.
  4. BEER: It’s 68 gallons of water to make 1 gallon of beer. You don’t drink that much in a sitting. I hope.
  5. WINE (maybe): Thanks to the grapes it can take 1,000 gallons of water to make a gallon of wine. A gallon of wine at dinner is a terrible idea, so you probably won’t use quite that much water. But you could also switch to beer. If you’re a snob, there are plenty of hoppy IPAs and malty porters to be your new muse.
  6. FRUIT: An apple and an orange take 18 and 13 gallons of water to produce, respectively. Juice takes a few times that amount of water per cup, but it’s still relatively reasonable.
  7. CAR WASHES: Your range of options means an equally big range of water use, with estimates from 12 to 100 gallons per wash. Avoid “bays” where you park and wait in the car as a machine moves around you. Conveyor-belt and self-service washes tend to be more efficient.
  8. AVOCADOS: While a pound produced in California uses 74.1 gallons of water, 70% of the ones we eat are imported. Mexico uses just 31.9 gallons per pound, though Chile uses a whopping 96.8 gallons of water and also has drought concerns. In other words, keep enjoying them unless you’re eating pounds per day. At that point, you really should share that guacamole, anyway.

World Water Day is coming up on Sunday, March 22. Help make a difference … share this!

Follow Adam on Twitter: @adjoro

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Water Use Game

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WaterGame

Challenge Your Kids with National Geographic’s Water Wiz Game

 

 

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LEARN

Projects of this nature take the hard work of volunteers, contributions from supporters and participation form people who are willing to carry the message. The following individuals and groups assisted in the creation of the We Are Water documentary film at the centerpiece of our mission.

EXECUTIVE PRODUCERS

  • Jill Heinerth
  • Robert McClellan

ORIGINAL SCORE

Xavier Fleuranceau

CO-PRODUCERS

  • Dan’s Dive Shop
  • Great Lakes Technical Divers
  • Light Monkey
  • Renata Rojas

SUPPORTERS

  • Christian Clark
  • Layne Fleuranceau
  • Brian Kakuk
  • Marc Laukien
  • Kristine & Murrey Olmsted
  • Tom Rae
  • Riana Treanor
  • Jan, Steve, Matt & Holly Jang
  • Bob and Mary Rabjohn
  • Gord, Kelley & Cori Rabjohn

UNDERWATER TALENT

  • Graham and Lila Maddocks
  • Martha McCullough
  • Barbara Wynns

ASSOCIATE PRODUCER

  • Megan Cook
  • Stuart Grinde
  • Daniel Tomosovich

ENVIRONMENTALISTS

  • Carlos Fonseca
  • Annette and Mark Long
  • Matt Mandziuk
  • Ocean Support Foundation
  • John Sapp
  • Joseph Sferrazza
  • Triangle Diving, Bermuda

DIVE SUPPORTER

  • Aquatica
  • Kenny Broad
  • Captain Don’s Habitat
  • Jack Chalk
  • Alberta Underwater Council
  • G&S Watersports
  • Hollis
  • Brian Nadwidny
  • ORIS Watches
  • Santi
  • Scuba Diving Magazine
  • Perry Smith
  • Ursuit
  • VR Technology
  • Waterproof
  • Chris Wickman

ADVOCATES

  • Stephanie Benincasa
  • Carmine Benincasa
  • Chris Corfield
  • Alex Djermanovic
  • Natasa Djermanovic
  • Kevin Frillman
  • MichaelAngelo Gagliardi
  • Zelda Gagliardi
  • General Ecology
  • Randy Kliewer
  • Lora Laffan
  • Richard Moccia
  • Beth and Jerry Murphy
  • Ocean Quest Dive Center
  • Gene Page
  • Pacific Pro Dive
  • Wendy Quimby
  • Jason Sapp
  • Lana Taylor
  • Wendy Thurman

SUPER HEROES

  • Aqua Sport Scuba
  • “Bear” Rae Olmsted
  • Dawn & April Bencze
  • Rich Best
  • Bird’s Underwater
  • Sharron Britton
  • John Buxton
  • Shannon and Ken Caraccia
  • John Cheeseman
  • Joel and Jacki Clark
  • Bill Coltart
  • Vlada Dekina
  • Delmont UMC
  • Dive Outpost
  • Luigi Di Raimo
  • JoAn & Derek Ferguson
  • Sam Gillis
  • Grant Graves
  • Richard Harris, MD
  • Adrian Hartley
  • Lee Ann Hughes
  • Eiko Jones
  • Larry Kalyniak, PhD
  • Marian Lane
  • Carol Lippincott
  • Cathy Lesh
  • John Minigan
  • Sharon Morgan
  • Bill and Tonya Nadeau
  • Niagara Divers Association
  • Lisa J Norelli, MD
  • Diana and Bill Oestreich
  • Renee Power
  • Luigi Di Raimo
  • Wendy J Richards
  • Jeff Rose
  • Stu Seldon
  • Dave Serafine
  • Sean Sexsmith
  • Suzanne Sferrazza
  • Jeff Shirk
  • Phil Short
  • Giovanni Soleti
  • Jim Stevenson
  • Sunken Treasure Scuba
  • Matthew Sypherd
  • Bonnie Toth
  • Wendy & Frank VanVliet
  • Lee Ann Waggener
  • Heidi Wallace
  • Jeanie Weimer
  • Tom Wilson
  • Cindy Wolff
  • Pam Wooten

HEROES

  • Sara Calvin
  • Cuyler
  • Eric Deister
  • Jeffrey Fossmo
  • Dmitri Gorski
  • Emily Greer
  • Wendy Grossman
  • Keene Heywood
  • Rick Kilby
  • Rita Lemgruber
  • Ken Mayer
  • Janine McKinnon
  • W Roderick O’Connor
  • Chris Parker
  • Karen Peist
  • Jim “Robbo” Robinson
  • Gerald Sliker
  • Mark Stringer
  • Julianne Ziefle

FRIENDS

  • Barbara Am Ende
  • Henrik Aronson
  • Kim Cavanaugh
  • Robert Cook
  • Kent Frazier
  • John Groff
  • John Hill
  • Robert H. Hughes
  • Jim Louvau
  • Jenn Macalady
  • Michael Myrick
  • Robert Osborne
  • Brian Rossman
  • Peter & Nancy Williams
  • Michael & Jennifer Wyman

CONTRIBUTORS

  • Marco Alvarez
  • Ronald Apple
  • Chris Clark
  • Jason Cook
  • Richard Dreher
  • Lesley Gamble
  • Matthew Harris
  • Gal Haspel
  • John Moran
  • Lance and Jessica Nelson
  • Luke & Ben Nelson
  • Matthew Pence
  • Janet Schmidt
  • Mary Slusarchuk
  • Christopher Stonestreet
  • Daphne Haspel Soares

THE FUTURE

  • Tzur Haspel Soares
  • Catherine Maddocks