Imagine an image: an empty bucket left outside in the rain, or maybe left under a slow leak in your ceiling or under a pipe. Each second, a drop of water falls into the bucket. It’s slow going. After a minute, only sixty drops have fallen – about 4 teaspoons. After an hour, you have a little more than a liter. But if you can wait, in time, the bucket will fill in a few hours. By the end of the day, your bucket will overflow.
This illustration isn’t just to teach some math about dripping faucets: that also demonstrates how we at The Longest Straw look at water usage.
Today, Los Angeles has almost 4 million people living in it. Each and every one of those people uses an average of 93 gallons of water in a single day. That adds up to 372 million gallons of water used every day.
So if one person stopped using water excessively, or reduced his or her usage by twenty percent, that may not seem like much. But that person might tell his neighbor, or her coworker. Or maybe a community can come together to implement grey water usage. Sure, a single person saving may seem like a small amount, but instead of seeing yourself as a single person in a sea of water wasting, imagine you’re a single drop falling in a bucket. No one drop is more valuable than the others, but all the drops together add up to a big result.
o yes, you may hear some discouraging statistics about how agriculture uses 80% of the state’s water, and wonder how a single person can make a difference. Yes, it is important to stand against wasting on every level in the state, but all efforts must begin at home.
So don’t be ashamed of starting small. Turn off your water while you brush your teeth. Use rainwater to water your garden. And remember: every little drop counts.