My hometown is Sunbury, PA. According to our municipality, the primary source of our water comes from a dam located along Little Shamokin Creek. The dam contains a 3 million gallon reserovoir. This reservoir then uses gravity to feed into a 17 million gallon, and 25 million gallon reservoir. During dry seasons, the Susquehanna River is used as a secondary source. The Susquehanna River is one of the longest and widest rivers in the US, and as such is most likely used as a water source for other cities that lie along its banks. The water from either of these two sources is treated at a filtration plant, and sent through 35 miles of underground pipe to the residences of Sunbury. The transmission and distribution service has nearly 5000 connections that helps to serve a population of nearly ten thousand.
b. Total of about 77 Gallons/day
If I had to make an attempt at living on 2 gallons of water for a single day, I would have to prioritize mater water usage, and in some cases possibly reuse it. Obviously I would have to eliminate the dishwasher, toilet use, and shower from my already existing regime. I would have to use an outdoor latrine in place of the toilet use. Drinking water would be the highest priority, followed by cooking, and then cleaning. I know that I can boil water in order to reuse it for drinking or cleaning purposes, so the only aspects that would matter would be tasks that require me to dispose of the water. These would probably only include cleaning (i.e. brushing my teeth, dishes, or bathing), or consumption where I can’t get it back. In order to make the most of the 2 gallons, I would save all of the cleaning until the end of the day, except for brushing my teeth once in the morning. My water schedule for the day would consist of the following;
- Brush teeth and drink a glass of water (-0.125 gallons, 1.875 remain)
- Pasta for lunch while collecting, and reusing the strained water to boil for distilled water. Leave dishes for end of the day. 2 glasses of water to drink. (-0.5, 1.375 remain)
- Essentially the same concept for dinner (-0.5, 0.875 remain)
- With the remaining water I would clean the dishes, and then give my self a sponge bath. I would brush my teeth, and any remaining water would be used to wash my hair. (-0.875, 0 remain)
This would most likely succeed, and would be possible for everyone regardless of where they live. This experience greatly differ from part 1-b. It requires much more work on my end for the same results, which really comes down to being a luxury. Water use however greatly depends on location. Some western state experience droughts often and need to limit their consumption, while eastern states use it like an infinite resource. Then there are some developing nations who don’t have the luxuries of indoor plumbing, and have to retrieve the water from streams with buckets daily, which essentially turns into the schedule I created.