The L.A. Times recently posted an op-ed featuring nine water experts’ opinions on ways to save water. The article is titled “Shorter Showers? Nine more ways the State has to change its ways”.
Not including the expert who thinks that we are wasting water by allocating millions of gallons to environmental conservation, I found only one glaring issue with this compilation article.
The title of this piece is incredibly misleading. Despite being useful and effective, all of the experts’ suggestions are based on infrastructure and policy changes on a state level. These writings discuss solutions that could save billions of gallons of water, none of which are comparable in the slightest to shorter showers. Taking a shorter shower saves about 20 gallons of water. Don’t get me wrong, all the water we use matters, every single gallon. But not only are these not fair comparisons, the title belittles the contributions that people can individually make towards water conservation.
None of the experts attempted to tackle the issue of individual water use. None of them discussed how one person can help reduce water mismanagement and water waste, or how small changes in individual behavior have the potential to help conserve water on a macro scale. But individual water use is an important part of water conservation that must be addressed.
Our individual water use is not limited to the water that comes out of our faucets and hoses. Much of our water is represented in virtual water. Most often, you will hear about virtual water in regard to food choices, as various food items use different amounts of water to produce. But I want to talk about a different type of virtual water.
Plastic water bottles.
If you want to reduce your water waste on a larger scale, stop using disposable plastic water bottles.