Water, water everywhere / And not a drop to drink
What an apropos quote courtesy of the Ancient Mariner. And how suitable when talking about beer and food that we should also discuss water. Rather, we should talk about water first, as it’s our W word today.
Water is indeed the life’s blood of the planet and the creatures on it. It’s a tangible counterpart to Oxygen, which is also necessary in this environment in which we live.
Do you think much about water? Here’s some H2O for thought.
- On average (and with slightly varying accounts) it take from 5 to 10 gallons of water to make 1 gallon of beer. Full Sail Brewing is an example of dramatically reducing this consumption – read here. It’s everywhere from growing the ingredients to brewing to cleaning.
- Think of how often we use water in food growth, production, preparation and clean up. Oof! Project Blue has good info here as does Lucy Saunders’ Great Lakes Water Conservation initiative here.
- Worldometers has a frighteningly informational water usage page with lots of other linked resources.
Do your part:
1. Turn off water when washing anything – before you’re actually ready, in between, and immediately after. I’ve got several good friends who turn the tap on full blast and “wash” their dishes. Sometimes this is done before putting them in the *ahem* dishwasher. WTF??!! No no no….what happens here is that the others in the household, sometimes impressionable youngsters see and adopt this practice without thinking. Easier said than done. Once a habit though, it’s automatic to do.
2. THINK about how you can reduce first. Set some time in your schedule to think about where you use water in your life. At home, out and about, traveling, and so on. Really think about it and figure out where you can reduce. It’s simple and you can immediately affect reduction. For instance, we have a 5 gallon bucket next to our shower/tub. It takes about 30 – 45 second for the water to get warm enough to be comfortable to shower in. Instead of letting that fresh safe water go wastefully down the drain, we capture it in the bucket and use it to flush and water plants inside and out.
3. Cisterns anyone?! Brilliant, simple, effective, economical.
When you can actually see the quantity of water you’re both using productively and wasting unnecessarily, you can act. And act we all must.
Never take that precious liquid for granted.
Follow up 3.18.13, additional resources from Lucy Saunders, Great Lakes Water Conservation (thanks Lucy!)
- General overview of water and energy use in Canadian breweries
- MBAA – look for water resources on this site as well.