How well do you conserve water?

Staff

How much water does a typical toilet use per flush?

Most toilets produced since 1994 use less than 1.6 gallons (6.1 liters) per flush. Older toilets might use twice that amount, and new low-flow toilets may use less than 1.3 gallons (4.9 liters).

How much of the planet's water is fresh water available for us to use (that is, not locked in the ice caps)?

Although water covers two-thirds of Earth's surface, only about 1 percent of that water is fresh and available for human use. The rest is salt water, brackish water, frozen fresh water or the water content of plants and animals.

How much water does it take to irrigate one acre (4,047 square meters) of corn?

Crops consume nearly one-third of Earth's fresh water used each year. Corn, a popular crop, can be water-hungry: Some varieties may need as much as 9,000 gallons (34,000 liters) per day.

How much water is locked in the polar ice caps?

A large portion of Earth's fresh water sits in cold storage in the polar ice caps. Some estimates calculate that there are 7 million cubic miles (29,2 million cubic kilometers) of water in these frozen regions.

Which is more efficient: drip or sprinkler irrigation?

The common lawn sprinkler has a major drawback: As water sprays into the air and across the lawn, some of it evaporates. Drip hoses circumvent this problem by slowly releasing water near plants' roots.

When is the best time to water the lawn?

Evaporation doesn't only happen when a sprinkler sprays into the air. Watering the lawn during the warm afternoon will require more water, as some of it will evaporate before soaking into the soil. You can water in the morning and evening to avoid this problem.

How much water does a grassy lawn consume?

A 1/8-acre (506-square meter) plot of grass may need 3,500 gallons (13,248 liters) of water per week to remain lush and healthy. Landscaping with drought-tolerant species, or native plants that need little extra water, can significantly reduce your lawn's water consumption.

When did the first golf course open in Las Vegas?

The Las Vegas Municipal Golf Course opened in 1941, showcasing the power of irrigation to turn desert into greens and fairways. As water becomes more scarce, though, course designers will have to become more water conscious.

What is a major drawback of rain barrels?

Rain barrels come in a range of sizes and shapes to match most houses, but they all run the risk of hosting mosquitoes if not properly covered. Rain barrels should have some protection to prevent the blood-sucking insects from laying eggs in them.

Does a raised-bed garden use less water than a traditional row garden?

While the water needs of any garden will depend on the types of plants being grown, raised-bed gardens typically consume water more efficiently by virtue of usually being watered via drip irrigation and other water-saving techniques.

Can your plant choice save gardening water?

Choosing native plant species, or species that grow well with little water, can provide significant water savings during a typical gardening season.

Does a shower use more water than a bath?

This one is tricky since the amount of water used during a shower depends on the length of the shower. A bath may use 30 to 50 gallons (113 to 189 liters) of water versus the 20 gallons (76 liters) used in a 4-minute shower. If the shower is longer, it could use more water than a bath.

What is grey water?

Grey water is water that's too dirty to drink or bathe in, but not so dirty that it's unsafe to use for flushing toilets or other noncontact household tasks. Some innovative researchers are exploring ways to get more use out of grey water.

What appliance uses the most water in the house?

Homes with older toilets may be pulling as much as 3 gallons (6 liters) or more per flush -- far more than necessary to do the job. If you're looking to save water with an appliance upgrade, the toilet may be a good place to start.

Which uses the most water?

Although it might seem like the dishwasher's spraybar uses a lot of water, it actually works more efficiently than hand washing. In many cases, the dishwasher is the more water-conscious choice.

What country has the most expensive tap water?

The cost of tap water includes a variety of factors, including the distance to the source and the number of people using it. Water in Denmark costs more than $6 (U.S.) per cubic meter -- far more than the $0.002 per cubic meter that water can cost in the United States.

How much water does a dripping faucet waste?

The severity of a leak affects how much water it wastes. A leaky faucet that drips about five times per minute, for example, wastes roughly 173 gallons (655 liters) per year.

How much water can a running toilet waste?

Like a leaky faucet, a running toilet can waste a varying amount of water. If you can hear it running, you could be wasting 25,000 gallons (some 93,000 liters) a month.

What should you check first if your toilet runs?

The valve that releases water during the flush cycle may degrade over time and fail to seat properly, causing a leak. It's the disk located at the bottom of the toilet tank. Check it first if you're trying to stop a water-wasting toilet.

To fix a dripping faucet, which of these should you try first?

Most modern faucets contain a series of rubber seals and gaskets to prevent water from leaking. These are usually easy to replace, and should be the first suspects when your faucet leaks.

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Image: refer to hsw

About This Quiz

We all know it's important to conserve water. But how much of a difference can you make on the environment and your water bill by conserving water? If you flow through our quiz with ease, you may be well on your way to being a water-conservation guru.

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