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Go with Your Own Flow


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Were you surprised by how much water you and members of your household used every day? Well, take another look at the Personal Water Use Chart that you filled out. One of the columns shows an Estimated Amount of Water Used for each of the activities. Perhaps these numbers were not good estimates for your household. In this lesson you will try to come up with your own estimates for water use and see how it might affect your overall water use.

How are the Estimates for Amount of Water Used Determined?

As you know, not everyone uses the same amount of water to do the same things. For example, you might use 5 gallons to wash dishes by hand but your sister may use 12 gallons. You might leave the water running when you brush your teeth but your brother might not.

The estimates given in the Personal Water Use Chart are based on typical values for how fast the water moves (flow rate) when doing each activity and how long the activity typically lasts. For example, the flow rate for a bathroom faucet is typically 2 gallons per minute. If most people wash their hands for 30 seconds (1/2 minute) they will use a total of 1 gallon of water to wash their hands.

Come up with Your Own Estimates

Examine each of the activities again on the Personal Water Use Chart. For each of the activities make your own measurements at home to determine how many gallons of water are used for each activity. Here are some Tips for Measuring Water Usage that may help you.

Re-calculate your Personal Water Use

Plug in your own estimates of amount of water used for each of the activities in the Personal Water Use Chart. If you can't get new estimates for some of the activities just leave in the estimates that had been provided originally. How does your Total Weekly Water Use change?