I, Tom and Sandy, pledge to do our part to save water.
I, Tom and Sandy, pledge to do our part to save water.
Sandy: Hello again, Tom. Here we are at year end. Wow, did 2021 zip by. We are going to talk water this month. Are you ready?
Tom: Great topic, Sandy, and happy soon-to-be New Year to you. Water – yep, there is a lot to talk about.
Sandy: We have thousands more people living in the Quad Cities now than we did 20 years ago and we are using less water now!
Tom: That is not only per person using less water, but overall usage as well. I recall 20 years ago our usage was around 150+ gallons per person per day.
Sandy: Now, that number is down to between 100 gallons per person per day in Prescott Valley and 115 gallons per person per day in Prescott.
Tom: These usage numbers are from within the Active Management Area, or AMA.
Tom: The Arizona Department of Water Resources, also known as ADWR, requires conservation efforts to be in place within the AMA for the designated water providers, and Prescott is within an AMA.
Sandy: Our local jurisdictions have also stepped up the effort by implementing the WaterSmart programs designed to educate all of us on wise ways to conserve, and even included a rebate program in Prescott, to encourage existing users to replace water using fixtures and landscaping with water conserving devices and xeriscape.
Tom: That has been a successful program in Prescott. While Prescott Valley does not have a rebate program, their education has gone a long way to making folks see the potential impact water conservation has based on individual consumption.
Sandy: The Upper Verde River Watershed Protection Coalition brings all the local jurisdictions together with the goal of water conservation. They include Prescott, Prescott Valley, Chino, Yavapai County and The Yavapai Prescott Tribe all working together. The cooperation always impresses me.
Tom: Me as well. Let us tell our readers about some of the practical things each of us can do to conserve water.
Sandy: Tom, are you aware that everything in life – food, buildings, vehicles, furniture and clothing –embodies water, the amount of water directly or indirectly used during production? Although often aware of energy requirements, the public is hardly aware of the water requirements in producing their good and services. Everything has a water footprint.
Tom: Sandy, are you saying my glass of beer has a water footprint?
Sandy: Yep – your 16-ounce glass of beer takes 40 gallons of water to produce the beer.
Tom: So, Sandy, we all know you love shoes. You have been called out many times on your radio show, “Hammer Time.” What is the water footprint for your shoes?
Sandy: Tom, it takes 2,105 gallons of water to produce my beloved boots. YEEKS! There is so much about water such as ground water, aquifers, springs and creeks, natural recharge, artificial recharge and safe yield, and the list goes on. What do you say we get into some water conservation tips?
Tom: First thing that comes to my mind for water conservation in the home would be Tankless or On-Demand Water Heaters. It is estimated that tankless water heaters are as much as 50% more efficient than traditional water heaters.
Sandy: First thing that comes to my mind for water conservation is washing machines! Did you know that washing machines that spin on a horizontal axis reduce water consumption of 20% to 50% per load, require less detergent and consume 50% to 60% less energy?
Tom: Since we are saving water on the inside of the house, how about dishwashers? Energy efficient dishwaters consume six to 10 gallons of water per cycle compared to nine to 12 gallons or less efficient models.
Sandy: Water leaks inside the home are a culprit for loss of water. But you say, “it is only a small drip, right?” Slow drips of water add up quickly. A toilet that continues to run after flushing or a sink that continues to drip after it is turned off will waste thousands of gallons of water a year.
Tom: Here is how to detect a water leak inside the home: Locate your water meter. Turn off all indoor and outdoor water-using devices including the evap cooler, water softener and icemaker. Record the read from the water meter. Wait 30 minutes and read again. If you have a different reading, you have a leak!
If your water meter test indicates a leak, I would say start your leak search with the toilet. A leaking toilet can waste thousands of gallons of water. To check your toilet, put 10 to 15 drops of food coloring into the tank. After 10 to 15 minutes, check the bowl for color. If there is color in your bowl, guess what, you have a leak!
Sandy: If you have an older toilet, it’s time to get a new one. Many years ago, toilets that used three to five gallons per flush were the norm. Now we are using mostly one-and-half gallon flush toilets. That is a huge savings right there. Out with the old and in with the new!
Tom: Sandy, we could keep going – there are shower head leaks, leaky pipes, outdoor faucet leaks, landscaping sprinkler line leaks, which all impact water conservation.
Sandy: Tom, we have enough water conservation items to talk about for another couple of months! A big user of water is our landscaping. Several landscapers encourage low, or no water use landscaping. Xeriscape landscaping has become the norm for new construction, both residential and commercial. And I might say with pride, our landscape folks at YCCA are all very well informed and are good at implementing water conservation yards.
Tom: Let us end our column with a water conservation pledge:
I, Tom and Sandy, pledge to do our part to save water. By taking just a few small steps we can save significant amounts of water, which will help protect our environment and save our precious water resource for future generations.
Thanks most wonderful readers for stopping in to read “At Home with Tom and Sandy.” We love ya. QCBN
By Sandy Griffis
Tom Reilly, Architect, Renovations, 928-445-8506 renovationsaz.com
Sandy Griffis, Executive Director, Yavapai County Contractors Association, 928-778-0040
Remember to tune in to YCCA’s Hammer Time every Saturday and Sunday morning 7 a.m. on KQNA 1130 AM/99.9 FM/95.5FM or the web kqna.com. Listen to Sandy and Mike talk about the construction industry and meet your local community partners. Hammer Time is a great way to start your weekend.