By Grace Fitzpatrick, USAG Bavaria Environmental Division

 

GRAFENWOEHR, Germany — Across the Army there is a renewed focus on energy and water conservation. The first-ever Energy and Utilities Summit was hosted by the Army Materiel Command in December 2021 in which the Army Climate Strategy, Strategic Energy and Water Plans and Resourcing, and sharing of best practices were discussed.

 

By putting an intensified focus on conserving water, we also save energy. We can each challenge ourselves every day to be better stewards of life-giving water.

 

U.S. Army Garrison Bavaria community members can implement small changes to their everyday routine to limit and efficiently use water that will make impacts that affect the world.

 

Water is an essential part of life. It is also a finite resource. Most of the water found on the globe is saltwater (over 97%), and the remainder must service a growing population.

 

We should all work to assess our water use and address areas where we are wasteful. As populations grow and water consumption rises, the need for water conservation — the practice of using less water and using water more efficiently — becomes more critical.

 

Less water consumption can help you reduce your environmental impacts and even help lower your utility costs. Today is the day to challenge yourself to become more water conscious and conserve water in everyday actions.

 

Pick a few to practice this month. Small changes can make big differences in water consumption and use! The list below outlines simple actions you can begin implementing today:

  • Do not use more water than you need. Thoughtful actions will ensure that you are not unintentionally consuming water
  • Wait until you have full loads. Only run appliance washers — dish or laundry — when you have enough items for a full load and use appropriate water settings
  • Use the shortest cycle possible for washing clothes and use the ‘suds-saver’ feature if your machine has one
  • Stop using your toilet as an ashtray or wastebasket. Every flush uses 5 – 7 gallons of water
  • Turn off the tap when you brush your teeth. A running tap uses up to nine liters of water a minute
  • Have a shower rather than a bath. Filling your bath by an inch less deep than usual will save, on average five liters of water
  • Shorten your shower – reducing your shower from 10 minutes to 4 minutes will save more than 300 liters of water every week
  • Keep a bucket in your shower to use to water your plants
  • Install a water-saving showerhead to cut the amount of water you use by about 30% per shower
  • Rinse your razor in the sink
  • Use a water-saving device in your toilet cistern. Depending on the size of your cistern, you could save between one and three liters each time you flush the toilet
  • Reuse glass and mugs – Use the same glass, mug or cup to drink out of all day to reduce the water you use washing up. But don’t cut down on the amount of water you drink!
  • If you wash dishes by hand, don’t leave the water running for rinsing
  • If you have two sinks, fill one with rinse water. If you have only one sink, first gather all your washed dishes in a dish rack, then rinse them quickly with a spray device or a pan of water
  • Use fewer pots/pans and utensils when cooking. The less you use, the less water needed to wash up
  • Don’t run the tap until the water’s cool – keep a jug of water in the fridge for instantly cold drinks instead. Try adding fruit or mint for some flavor
  • Use a bowl in the sink when washing fruit or vegetables. You can then use the wastewater to water your plants
  • Use a watering can in the garden instead of a sprinkler or a hosepipe. Garden sprinklers and hosepipes left running can use between 500 and 1,000 liters of water an hour
  • Use rainwater to water the garden
  • Water early or late in the day to avoid evaporation. Try to avoid watering on very windy days
  • Use ice cubes or leftover water in glasses to water plants
  • Use mulch to help prevent evaporation and the need for as frequent watering
  • Leave your lawn a little longer to help with lawn health during dry weather
  • Wash your dog outside, this will also will water the grass
  • Check your property regularly for leaks on your internal plumbing

 

Water is one of our most precious resources. Conserving water saves you money and protects the environment. Work to conserve water today.

 

To learn more, contact the USAG Bavaria Environmental Division at:
https://home.army.mil/bavaria/index.php/environmental