Louis Proyect over at Marxmail just posted this on “peak water.” Living in North Carolina, where we are experiencing our worst drought on record right now, and where residential cut-backs are touted as our solution, even as slaughterhouses, commercial car washes, paper mills, and agri-biz still suck the water out at a phenomenal rate… this one hits home… literally.
It would be great if people started to use less water at their home, but the statement, “best Foods has swapped its dishes for paper plates and foam cups,” is very scary – if everyone did this than all our hills would become landfills.
It is important to fully understand who is using the water so I have
attached an article from the US Geological Survey which gives some
figures. Using this data I have calculated that, for total fresh water
usage in the USA:
Irrigation uses 137 Bgal/d: 39.6 percent
Thermoelectric power uses 135 Bgal/d: 39.1 percent
Public water supply uses 43 Bgal/d: 12.5 percent
Further, Public water supplies 85 percent of all residences. If it is
assumed that residences with private water supply (15 percent of total)
use roughly the same amount as a residence with public water supply,
then ((43 multiplied by 0.15) plus 43) is equal to:
Residential water supply uses 49.45 Bgal/d: 14.3 percent
These are rough figures.
If people were to cut their use of water at home in half, it would be
equivalent to reducing Irrigational use by a less than a fifth.
Reduction in residential usage