Water Tracking: Kaitlyn Baker


Part 1A: The water source for my hometown of Port Matilda, Pennsylvania begins with groundwater sources located in the Valley and Ridge province where there are limestone springs and wells. The water discharged from these sources is pumped through a wastewater treatment plant before being returned back into the groundwater system near the Spring Creek watershed in Ferguson Township through pumps and piping. This water is then distributed to local homes and businesses. When water is finished being used it is discharged into the sewage system before going back through the wastewater treatment cycle and into our water systems.

Part 1B: For this section I chose to record my water usage on a weekend day, as I was home for the large majority of the day and had time to do all of the necessary tasks around my apartment. These are my recordings for Sunday, February 7th.





10 Minutes


20 Gallons


Teeth Brushing


2 times


.5 Gallons

Hands/Face Washing  

10 Times


10 Gallons

Dishwashing by Hand  

1 Wash (5 Minutes)


10 Gallons


Clothes Washing


2 Loads


50 Gallons


Toilet Flush


8 times


16 Gallons


Glasses of water


16 Glasses


1 Gallon


Total: 107.5 Gallons


Part 1C: In preparing for this experiment I considered each activity, and the amount of water used before determining the necessity of each thing. I deemed teeth brushing, toilet flushing, and glasses of water to be necessary. While I typically shower every morning, I chose to shower the night prior to my experiment so as to cut down on my water use by a lot for the day I chose. Throughout the course of the day I only used paper/plastic products when eating to eliminate the need for washing dishes. I also prepared only foods that did not require water for cooking. When it came to drinking water, I limited myself to only 3 glasses of water (one at each meal). This proved to be the most difficult for me as I typically drink double (if not more) the recommended amount of water. I brushed my teeth once in the morning and once in the evening, being careful to turn the faucet off while brushing. Instead of washing my hands, I used hand sanitizer for the course of the day. Toilet flushing was the only activity I found troublesome to cut back on, but having only had 3 glasses of water, I only needed to flush the toilet 4 times. While I was unsuccessful in using only 2 gallons of water, I did cut back on my overall usage by almost 99 gallons, only using just over 8 gallons which I think is a huge success. This experiment was very eye opening, as I was forced to think about what is truly necessary each day. Having not had to ever limit myself, I’ve never considered how wasteful my habits are. Geography matters when it comes to water use, because not all people have the same resources and access to clean water. Those who live in areas where clean drinking water is scarce,  are likely far more frugal with their use of the water they DO have, whereas those living in a town such as state college, have readily available resources and therefore can use without thinking.

2 thoughts on “Water Tracking: Kaitlyn Baker

  1. Hey Kaitlyn! I’m Christi 🙂

    Your post caught my attention because I was pretty astonished that you were able to cut out a shower for one day. Being a girl and all and at least for me a girly girl, I can’t go a day without showering. (Of course I would if it were actually an emergency though). As much as I enjoy my daily shower I do think they waste a ton of water especially because the majority of the shower is just spent standing under the warm water. I hope in the future we can invent a way to possibly recycle shower water using a set number of gallons that just keeps getting filtered and coming back out the shower head. I think this would save lots of water in the U.S. Here is a link to my post if you want to check it out! http://geog030.dutton.psu.edu/2016/02/10/water-usage-3/

  2. Hi, my name is Ashlee. I agree with you that toilet flushing was the hardest activity to cut back on, but drinking less did help that a bit. I’d like to see something in the future that could help cut back the gallons used when flushing toilets even more. It is crazy how some of those people in other countries only get to use 2 gallons of water a day, this experiment has been a great eye opener! Here is a link to my blog if you’d like to check it out. http://sites.psu.edu/geog30/2016/02/10/module-4-5/

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