Even though the Pacific Northwest had a terrible ski season, we’re not doing too badly on our water supply to get us through the summer because there was just more rain than snow. But whenever drought rears it’s ugly head (like it has been in California for the past few years), you hear lots of talk about taking shorter showers, not filling your swimming pool, not watering your lawn, etc. But does that really make a difference?
This blog post has a lot of interesting charts and data showing how water is used in each of the fifty states. (Also, the charts are really fun to play with, but make sure you use Chrome because they don’t render well in IE.) There’s a ton of great information in there. For example, did you know that Idaho and Utah use way more water per person than any other state? But less than 2% of that water is used for domestic purposes. If you look at total water used, California uses WAY more than any state but most of it goes to irrigating arid land so it can be farmed.
So yes, taking a 3 minute shower will help, but it’s not even a drop in the proverbial bucket.