25 Jan 2009

Let It Flow

via JN, we get the flipside of "wasting" water:
Rice Lake officials [are] asking residents to keep water running to prevent pipes from freezing.

The city has asked its 3,400 water customers to leave at least one faucet open with a small stream until further notice — a move that will waste an estimated 4 million gallons of drinking water by spring.
This practice, as the article points out, is not wasteful because 4 million gallons (1 percent of annual use in the area) is a cheap price to pay ($700) for avoiding burst pipes.

Bottom Line: Water management must be appropriate for the situation. Don't waste water in a desert; do "waste" it when there's too much (opening dam sluices) or when spending some now saves a lot later.


  1. Is the water down the drain wasted? If it goes to a treatment plant it is available for reuse (although the initial cost of treating it to drinking water standards is lost.)

  2. Having grown up in a nearby town - yes, it goes to a treatment facility. but treated water doesn't get reused in the region, it generally goes into a river and back into the natural water cycle. reuse isn't necessary yet.

    also, the town they're talking about has a population of 8000. this'll only apply to the people who actually live in town, since outside the sewer zone everyone has a well.


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