Water-Saving Initiatives – 1918 Versus 2014
If you live in the western states of the USA, you know all about the need to reduce water consumption and saving water. Today, everyone in the western states of the US is aware of the severe water shortage now being experienced. People are being educated about the seriousness of the current water shortage, and are given all kinds of tips and advice on how to reduce water consumption at home.
An interesting post in our favorite water blog, Today In Water History, tells us how municipalities had launch campaigns to convince people to reduce water in 1918. But back the the reason to reduce water consumption was not because of a shortage of water – it was because ofa shortage of coal.
New York City officials estimated that if each city in New York state alone would reduce water consumption by 100 gallons per person – a very easily reachable goal – it would result in a savings of 75,000 tons of coal a year. This coal would then be used to generate power for America’s war effort and could help win the war.
What’s also interesting is that the article points out that Municipal Journal had to “arouse water works superintendents” to the problem and the opportunity: today, water officials are all too familiar with water shortages and neither need to be educated about the shortage of water nor did they need to be convinced of the need to persuade consumers to reduce their water consumption.
Many of the tips offered in 1918 to save water are similar to the tips we offer today – especially reducing leaks and avoiding waste due to run-off. But there’s one major thing missing from the 1918 water saving tips: there’s no mention of the water savings achieved by using an energy-efficient dishwasher or garbage disposal unit – because those devices had not yet been invented at that time. See the blog post at Today In Water History here.