As the population increases, the demand for clean, fresh water will also rise, making existing supplies a very precious resource in Illinois and other parts of the U.S. Despite the abundance of fresh water present in Lake Michigan, lake water is only expected to provide a sustainable supply through 2030.
Less than 2% of the Earth’s water supply is fresh water, and only 1% of the Earth’s water is available for drinking water.
- One flush of the toilet uses 6 ½ gallons of water.
- An average bath requires 37 gallons of water.
- An average family of four uses 881 gallons of water per week just by flushing the toilet.
- The average 5-minute shower takes 15-25 gallons of water–around 40 gallons are used in 10 minutes.
- You use about 5 gallons of water if you leave the water running while brushing your teeth.
- An automatic dishwasher uses 9 to 12 gallons of water while hand washing dishes can use up to 20 gallons. (American Water Works Association)
Water Conservation Resources
The City of Elmhurst sells 55-gallon rain barrels for $57. Stored rainwater is ideal for lawn and garden watering. Included with the barrel is a screened lid to prevent leaves and other debris from gathering in your rain barrel and to keep insects such as mosquitos from living and breeding in your rain barrel.
energySMART offers free energy- and water-saving kits to NICOR Gas customers. This free kit includes a water-efficient showerhead, a dual-spray kitchen faucet aerator and two bathroom aerators.
The Conservation Foundation’s Conservation@Home program encourages and recognizes property owners that protect and/or create yards that are nature friendly and conserve water. This includes planting native vegetation, creating rain gardens and removing exotic plant species. The program aims to promote water resource practices through the use of rain barrels and rain gardens that reduce runoff, filter water and conserve water. Homeowners receive a yard assessment, and certified landowners will receive a certificate of achievement and sign to post in their yard.