Tuesday, August 12, 2014

How much water do you actually use?

I've been working over the summer with youth from across the Middle East and North Africa on civic engagement issues. While there was much to discover about the differences in cultures and countries, one of the similarities surprised me -- we were all concerned with access to water. In fact, some of the Egyptian students put together a video about water conservation in their country. Go ahead and watch it, and test your knowledge of your own water use. (Note: 1 liter = about a quarter of a gallon.)

I'll admit, from a U.S. standpoint, some of those numbers seem pretty high (but we'll save that discussion for another post). What struck me about this video, though, is the general lack of awareness of what we use. I know as I tried to answer those questions, I had to do some head scratching and back-of-the-envelope calculations. This begs the question, if we're not aware of how much we're using, how do we know when we're consuming a sustainable amount? How do we know when our conservation efforts have actually made a difference?

Share your thoughts in the comments below.

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