We have a fixed amount of water on Earth, and only 1% of that water is available for human use. When our use of water outpaces the rate at which it can be replenished naturally, we increase the risk of water shortages. As more water becomes undrinkable due to things like pollution and sea level rise, and as the natural water cycle is impacted by human activities, more water will become unusable.

Household water usage is responsible for 5-10% of total fresh water used worldwide. Most of this usage happens in North America. On average, each American uses approximately 100 gallons of water a day at home, while someone living in a water poor country will use only about 2 gallons of water a day. In America, almost 17% of at home water use is for showering.

If everyone at University of Richmond decreased their shower time by 2 minutes, we'd save nearly 11 million gallons of water a year. Get an overview of sustainability and water in our water fact sheet.

Water and Environmental Justice

Marginalized communities disproportionately experience lack of access to clean, safe, and affordable drinking water. Water infrastructure in these areas is also generally outdated and unstable, increasing the risk of contamination. Over 70% of coal ash ponds in Virginia are located near minority communities. Coal ash ponds are disposal sites for waste from coal power plants that increase risk of contaminated freshwater sources nearby.

Conserve Water & Be A Green Spider

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