Module 4- Water Tracking and Usage


My hometown is Perkasie, PA which is located about an hour outside of Philadelphia, PA. For some people in this course from Doylestown, PA I am about 15 minutes from them. In Perkasie, partially rural and urban there is a public water system provided by the Borough of Perkasie, this is the way that most people in town, businesses, and schools are supplied with water. The water system in Perkasie draws from small waterways we have running closely to the city also reservoirs that are not to distant from the systems themselves. I however live on a small, rural farm for which my family has a private well system. The community as a whole mostly uses the public water system which means they also are in usage of the public sewer system which takes the water used away from the houses and is processed at a separate location to be put back into the water system and reused by the town again. Personally my house because we have our own well we also have our own sewer system in which our water is recycled and used again.



Use of Water: Number of times daily: Rate of Water Usage: Daily Usage (Gallons):
Shower 1 (10 mins) 3.8 gal/min 38
Cooking 2-3 (30 mins) 1 gal/use 30
Personal Hygiene 2 (1 min. per) 2 gal/min 4
Toilet 3 5 gal/use 15
Cleaning (Dishes, etc.) 1 (2 min. per) 2 gal/min 2
Drinking 4 .5 gal/use 2

Total: 91 Gallons/Day


The areas of water usage for this experiment are all of the above in my chart, showering, cleaning, cooking, hygiene, toilet usage, drinking, and cleaning. To start this experiment I would begin by prioritizing my water usage. I believe that my top priority would have to be consumption, meaning my daily water intake for my body. The next would probably be cooking and hygiene. Although it would be difficult, living with only two gallons of water available, I would need to limit myself on non-necessary daily water luxuries such as daily showers, laundry, cleaning, and even toilet usage. Some strategies I would use in this experiment are using the absolute minimal amount of water for each task and also having a way to catch the water after usage so I could purify it and reuse the available left. I believe that in our society this experiment would unfortunately fail, this is often due to our social “norms”. It is a social norm to shower daily to be presentable for school or work. Also to brush your teeth and keep your home clean, along with using the toilet. Unless someone spends their day not fulfilling the social norms I do not think it is possible to complete this experiment in the current society we live in. This expeiment compared to part B is the other extreme end of being limited on water, as of now which we are not limited and use water as we please. Geography matters relating back to my earlier statement in which I talked about society “norms”, in countries in which the water resource is limited also have different norms then us, potentially changing the amount of water they are required to use on a daily basis to fulfill the social norms.


Module 4

1A: For most of my life I grew up in a suburb of San Diego called Oceanside. Despite being close to the beach and the “water” it could offer in terms of desalination (Recently a desalination plant was installed in Carlsbad) and such, our water instead comes from distant rivers. The prior lack of desalination plants and closing of an aging nuclear power plant are examples of collective action problem in or around the community of southern California that demonstrate the “not in my backyard” mentality, which most citizens have. The water utility department purchases water from San Diego county water authority. SDCWA gets a majority of their water from the metropolitan water district of southern California (MWD)water. The MWD gets their water from the Sacramento/San Joaquin rivers through the state water project and the Colorado river via the Colorado river aqueduct. Roughly about 80% of the water in southern California comes from these two sources with the remaining coming from ground water, local surface water, etc. Wastewater is then treated at two treatment plants before I being released into the ocean or recycled.


Toilet: (assuming clean toilet!) one flush 3 gallons
Shower: about 1.5 times a day for roughly 15 minutes 112.5 gallons
Sink: Shave once a week, brush twice, 12 oz.
Hydration: about six 8oz cups 48 oz.
Cleaning: wash clothes twice a week and dishes vary due to use but around once a week 7.15 gallons a day
Estimated water usage a day is 126.4 gallons of water a day. (On a side note, this also excludes how much water is used in the production of lotion, shampoo, etc., and the water usage in making the containers)

Part 1c:
1. The bathroom, faucet and water fountain were the three outlets of water I used.
2. The rule was only to use water when necessary. Brushing, hydrating (keeps me awake in class) aren’t absolutely necessary but borderline needed.
3. Rather than taking a shower, I used a wet cloth to wipe my face and body. Secondly, since getting my curly hair “presentable” takes a lot of water I just wore a beanie instead. Also, helped that I don’t have to shave my face often. In addition, I didn’t exercise the day of experimentation as I would’ve been really thirsty so about a liter of water was adequate.
4. Although I already minimize my water usage in everything but showering, the experiment to me was a failure for several reasons. First, taking a shower wakes me up (its like COFFEE for me), hygiene purposes and I have somewhat long curly hair (like curly fries no joke) that needs constant watering for moisturization and to avoid tanglements. Also if I wanted to become more physically active I would need to use more water to cleanse myself after sweating, hydration and wash dirty clothes.
5. I was more conscience of how much water I used in routine tasks as an individual. The biggest drawback of conserving water is in the form of the daily showers individuals take. Though I take long showers compared to the average individual, when one considers how many gallons of water is used, this seems to be the biggest water use.
6. Geography matters to water use because the individual actions of how people use their water may strain or deplete the natural rate of water replenishment (the drier the conditions, the more efficiency is needed). This may in the end alter the collective ability of everyone water usage.

Module #4


After living in Branchburg, New Jersey for 18 years I’ve never quite known where my water came from. Being close to New York my town used city water. The city water originally came from rivers including the Raritan River, Millstone River, Delaware and Raritan Canal and about 130 wells. The water treatment center from American Water pumps approximately 145 gallons to the surrounding towns. This water goes through a series of underground pipes connected to the water plant. Before the reservoir, however, the water must go through a series of filtration systems in order to remove any contaminants. This filtration system often includes the use of chlorine and magnesium and calcium ions to bond with and capture biological contaminants. After the water comes from the tap, toilet (etc…) water is used and disposed of down the pipes it is taken to the regional sewage treatment plant, in my case Somerset Raritan Sewage and properly disposed of from there.

When figuring out how much water I use each day, I found that I use the most during my showers. However, since downtown State College apartments tend to be quite old I would assume my shower head is not water saving, therefore letting out 16 gallons per minute..(“Ouch”, says the Environment). So taking a 30 minute (more or less) takes up about 150 gallons. After cutting that out, I asked my roommates to refrain from running the dishwasher until it was completely full, that saved about 16 gallons. Next, I made sure I turned the sink on as little as possible during tooth brushing and hand washing which required some major quick reflex usage. Luckily, I don’t drink much water anyway, just because I am forgetful, so that was easy to cut down…I will admit I was pretty thirsty and just sipped on the water to make it seem like I was drinking more. The final usage was the toilet… however, I am not sure the “if it’s yellow, let it mellow” way to live is for public spaces in my mind. In conclusion, in order to cut back on water more, I can use more quick reflexes to turn the water off quickly as well as try to cut down of luxury showers/taking one every day. As for toilet water usage, many of the toilets in my building have 2 settings for “how much water needs to be used”, so making sure I use the correct option can really make a difference.

Module 4 Activity – Water Tracking and Usage

Part 1-a:

My hometown is Doylestown PA, a busy little town about 45 miles northeast of Philadelphia. The water is supplied and managed by the Doylestown Borough Water Department. For most people in my area, this is how they get their water unless they use private well water. For me, since I live in a neighborhood, this is my family’s source of water. The Water Department service provides over 1 million gallons every day which is sold to households and businesses, and it is used for their daily necessities, such as tap water, toilets, showers, garden hoses, etc… Then, the water goes down drains into public sewers to be recirculated back into one of the Water Department’s water treatment plants, or is held in septic tanks to be collected. This system consists of over 46 miles of distribution mains, and the water is mostly obtained from 13 large well systems throughout the area that pump water from about 200 feet down. During peak times, the department has storage capacity for up to 1.75 million gallons of water in 5 storage tanks throughout the area. Reports of the water quality seem to normally determine it to be very safe and healthy water, although it is often very calcium rich. This goes along with what I normally see at home – my family had to get a water softener installed to reduce the calcium, which really helped with cleaning dishes and washing cars.

Part 1-b:

Back at home, this is what a normal day would look like for my water consumption, using water flow rates found on the websites provided:

Type of Use: Uses Per Day Water Rate Daily Usage (gallons)
Showers 1 (20 minutes) 3.8 gal/min 76
Toilet Flushes 3 5 gallons per use 15
Sink Usage 6 (.5 mins each) 2 gal/min 6
Dish Wash .5 10 gallons per use 5
Laundry Wash .2 40 gallons per use 8
Total:     110


Part 1-c:

Living on two gallons a day is obviously a huge challenge for someone used to living with the resources we have here. I made an attempt to reduce as much as I could, but it seems to be simply impossible without very much impacting my daily schedule and others around me. It seemed to be fairly easy to reduce the water use all around in every type. While this is great, this reduction in water use still comes nowhere near using just two gallons a day. The priority I set for water is for my personal health and to not impact others too much. I drank less than a gallon, which seemed to be enough for me. Other than that, I avoided using sinks unless absolutely necessary, and didn’t wash my clothes that day (which I only do once a week anyway). However I felt obliged to flush the toilet due to living in a dorm with other people who use the same bathroom. In the end, I think I failed at this experiment. Despite my efforts, I likely used far more than two gallons. While the goal to reduce my water to two gallons failed, the experiment succeeded at showing me that it is really easy to cut back a good amount without negatively impacting anything, such as taking shorter showers and not using the sinks too much. Geography certainly plays a huge part in how much water we have available and how it gets used. In most parts of America, there is little shortage of water supply due to how our systems are set up and the terrain we have. In places like Africa, however, where they have a much drier climate, less freshwater sources, and poor infrastructure, it becomes much more difficult and the water must be used very conservatively.

Water Usage Exercise – Julian Pamplin

As a resident of Plum, PA, my water is sourced by the Allegheny River at the Nadine Intake in Verona, PA. The intake of water is managed by the Wilkinsburg-Penn Joint Water Authority before it is diverted to serve communities in the suburbs east of Pittsburgh including Plum, Oakmont, and Monroeville. Plum Borough Municipal Authority is scheduled to switch to the Municipal Authority of Westmoreland County next month. Once received into the Plum area, the Plum Borough Municipal Authority operates pump stations to distribute water throughout the community. The pump station that provides water directly to my home is located on Saltsburg Road. Sewage maintenance is managed by the Sewer Department of the Plum Borough Municipal Authority. The Sewer Department is responsible for sewage treatment as well as the transmission of sewer water to disposal. The Plum Creek watershed is the primary location of disposal for Plum residents including myself.

According to the USGS site, my family uses an average of up to 335.9 gallons of water per day. Personally, I use an average of up to 76.24 gallons per day.

World average water consumption (per capita): 36 gal/day

U.S. average water consumption (per capita): 158 gal/day

My family water consumption (total): 335 gal/day

My personal water consumption: 76.24 gal/day

  • 20 gallons for showering
  • 6 gallons for toilet
  • 8 gallons for sink
  • 12 gallons for dishwashing
  • 31 gallons for laundry

The primary areas of water use for my experiment involved bathing and cleaning. I cut down to one two-minute shower and brushed my teeth once using less water than usual. I flushed the toilet four times and drank 4 glasses of water. I did not use the dishwasher or wash a load of laundry. The experiment was a significant failure for several reasons. I found myself conserving for the day but had no way of conserving for longer than one day. For instance, though I refrained from washing clothes, there is no chance of sustaining that practice for longer than about 10 days. I did not wash dishes and I would normally need to at least wash dishes once daily. I do not have a super-efficient toilet so flushing was unavoidable and require water even if I flushed once every two times for liquid waste. My experience in trying to conserve as much water as possible caused a drastic shift in my daily routine and in my attention to water use. Still, I used more than 10 times the limit imposed by the exercise. Geography matters to water use for a few reasons. First, in areas such as my own, fresh water sources are readily available and the infrastructure allows for easy access to clean water. In areas where the infrastructure is lacking, combined with the inhibited access to fresh water, water supplies are determined by climate factors and general supply. Salt water sources are not potable and absent expensive desalination treatment apparatus, don’t benefit people who live in coastal areas.

Tracking Water Usage-Siying Chen

Part 1-a:

The water supply chain usually starts at the water source. For my hometown Guangzhou, China, water usually comes from the West River and the East River. The city’s water supply companies then filter and sanitize the water. After water being treated in the water supply companies, it is transported to households and to our taps, but unlike U.S., tap water in China is not drinkable. Before we consume water, we boil it first or use water filter. According to the official report in 2013, Guangzhou’s water usage is over 350 liters per person per day, which is the top in the country. Wastewater produced from households then goes to the closest wastewater treatment plant, where wastewater get treated. A portion of treated wastewater is recycled and used in agricultural and industrial use, and the rest goes back to the downstream and eventually to the south China sea.

Part 1-b:

my water usage for 2/9

Chen's daily water use

Part 1-c:

Since I only have 2 gallons of water, I would restrict water use in cooking, drinking and basic cleaning, assuming there’s no other water resource. My priority water use would be drinking water, because I need to drink water to survive, and the second would be cooking water and the last would be cleaning. I would try to consume as little water as I can, and for basic cleaning, I would try to limit the time and amount I use, and if possible, I would recycle the water. To make an assumption, I would use approximately 1.2 gallons of water for consumption, and 0.5 gallon of water for cleaning, and I can still recycle the water after cleaning, in this scenario, the experiment would work. comparing to part 1-b of my usual daily water use, using only 2 gallons a day seems like impossible, and it also makes me realize that how much water I use, or waste in my daily life. Geography has a great impact on water supply, as we can see from the experiment, 2 gallons of water per day maybe is what people in Africa have, and there’s even no guarantee of clean water source. But here in U.S. we don’t need to worry about clean water and water supply, and we always think we have a lot for us to consume.

Module 4 : Water Tracking & Usage

I recently moved to Joppa MD about five months ago from the Washington DC metro area. Nevertheless, I still work in DC as well as spend most of my non-work time in there. Up until recently, I had been living in the Washington DC area for over 15 years hence it feels more like my hometown. As a result, for this post I focused on the DC public water system.  The main source of water for my hometown is provided by the District of Columbia Water and Sewer Authority and comes from the Potomac River. DC Water provides water for the DC metro area including Northern Virginia and Maryland suburbs. The water comes from the Great Falls and Little Falls on the Potomac river north of the District. After collecting the water, Washington Aqueduct a division of US Army Corps of Engineers treat the water, which DC Water purchases and pumps the water into the taps of millions of homes and businesses. When we consume the tap water thorough daily tasks like drinking water, showering, washing our hands, while using the facilities, as well as cleaning food and clothing, the waste goes down the drain into the DC public water sewer system. The sewer system transports the waste water to Blue Plains Wastewater Treatment Plant, which is one of the largest advance waste water treatment systems in the world. This sewage water is treated and filtered before it goes back into the Potomac River.


My water usage picture

Daily Activity Amount of Water Used
Shower 10 gallons
Brushing teeth  ½ gallon
Coffee 8 ounces
Drinking water 24 ounces
Food Prep and Cooking 3 gallons
Cleaning Dishes 5 gallons
Bathroom trips 20 gallons (8 trips)


In the experiment of living on 2 gallons of water consumption per day, I used the water primarily for drinking, cooking and minimal personal cleaning. The water consumption breakdown consisted of about half a gallon focused in cleaning in the morning. This entailed 2 ounces of water to brush my teeth and the remainder of the half gallon was strategically used to clean core areas. The remaining gallon and a half of water usage itemization was half a gallon for drinking and the remaining gallon was used in meal preparation. Furthermore, I tried to preserve as much water as possible from one daily task to another. I used cleansing wipes and hand sanitizer throughout the day. Unfortunately, the experiment failed mainly because of flushing water during the bathroom trips. When compared to my daily use of water this experiment and exercise really opened up my eyes on how much water is wasted in a given day. Since this awareness I have made conscious efforts in using the least amount of water where possible. In addition, I’m using hand sanitizers and wipes more frequently since the experiment. Also, I’m encouraging my roommates to minimize their water usage where there are opportunities. Geography does matter because you learn how to prioritize and the amenities cater for the minimal water available. Being predisposed at a young age to carefully consume water resources if your geography dictates proves that your surroundings do matter.

My water usage: Ralph Diaz

Though I could not find the original source of water in my hometown, Hagerstown, Maryland, I did find that most of our water comes from a water filtering facility a few miles down the road in Williamsport, Maryland. The water is filtered locally and I’m fairy confident it comes from a local water source (the Potomac River). I have personally been to the water treatment plant that water from Hagerstown is cleaned in, and I have seen the entire cleaning process, including the last part of the process in which water is dumped into the Potomac River, where it flows into the Chesapeake Bay. The process is fairly standard: water is piped into people’s homes, and they use it; then it goes down the drain and is piped to the water treatment facility I have visited. Some homes have septic systems and other homes have well water. Homes rarely have both. Though the system in Hagerstown may be sustainable because water is being extracted from a local source, it was not always sustainable. The Potomac River was once so polluted that it was our own “Tragedy of the Commons.” Overuse and pollution of the Potomac River (30ish) years ago was destroying a natural resource that we relied on.

My Water Use

total daily use: 78 gallons

I imagine if I was living in an area where water is much less available and I had to live on two gallons a day, I would have to sacrifice many of my current daily activities which I simply could not sacrifice with my current life style. I currently take two showers a day, one shower in the morning to start my day off, and one shower at night after I get back home from the gym. I could easily eliminate a shower a day or even take a shower once every other day, but this is socially unacceptable. If I had two gallons a day I would not have much water to shower with because I would drink about half a gallon a day just to remain sufficiently hydrated. Also, right now I have to flush toilets and run faucets to remain sanitary. The different in social norms would allow me to not wash my hands 5 times a day and not flush the toilet every time I use the bathroom, thus saving 14 gallons a day, but this is somewhat not practical right now. I can, however, reduce how often I shower and the duration of my water usage somewhat right now and every bit helps.

Water Supply and Usage

My home town Jaipur, Rajasthan is in the western part of India. It is near the Thar Desert and therefore being a desert region, the water supply in the city is still scarce. Most of the households in the area use a water boring system. In this system, a borewell is drilled in the earth’s surface with a pipe that goes down to the groundwater level.The water is then taken from the groundwater as water supply to the household. Due to scarcity of water, the Jaipur Development Authority has made a rule for households bigger than 300 sqm. to install rainwater harvesting structure in their houses, so that groundwater is refilled from the rainwater to some extent. The sewage system in my area takes the used water to Sewage Treatment Plant, Delawas, Jaipur, which uses the Activated Sludge process to clean the water using chlorination and remove bacteria and the microbes, and is then released in nearby farms for agricultural purposes.

I chose Sunday to record my daily usage, as I do most of the water related activities like laundry on that day. According to the USGS, this was my average usage :

Total = 83.7 gallons

Facing the 2 gallon experiment would be a huge task, and I believe even if I cut down very important uses, I would still not be able to accomplish to live on 2 gallons of water in a day. A simple activity like taking a shower consumes 30 gallons of water, that is equivalent to 15 times the water average of a person in Mozambique and Haiti. I would though try to cut down my water use by using less water in brushing and hand/face wash. I would also reduce my shower time by 8 minutes and bring down the water usage in that activity to 14 gallons. I would try to use recyclable dishes so that I can bring down the water usage in dishwashing. Therefore, I would fail the experiment, however the experiment and this study does make me realize to ration my water usage in order to conserve this precious resource. Geography holds an important role in water use, as the geographical factors decide the availability of water in that area, for example in my area the groundwater level is a major geographical factor. Also, I believe we all should learn from this and take steps to conserve water as we can see how lucky we are to live in a place where we don’t see water shortage. This would be a collective action we all can take in order to help reduce water shortages in areas by directing some of the saved water towards those areas, therefore equalizing the water usage and as well as conserving it for future generations.

Tracking Water – Yeeren Low

a. My home uses a private water system. Groundwater from an aquifer is collected in a well and pumped into a storage tank, where the water is maintained at a constant level. The water is filtered before it reaches the tap. Water from the toilet, sink, shower, etc. runs down a single drainage pipe into the septic tank. This tank is water-tight and allows the various components of the waste fluid to separate vertically. Liquid water goes to the drain field, in which the water is absorbed by the soil.



Cooking/washing food/dishes: ~ 7.5 gal/day

Washing clothes: ~ 8 gal/day

Flushing toilet: ~ 35 gal/day

Washing hands: ~ 1 gal/day

Showering: ~ 25 gal/day

Total: ~ 76 gal/day


c. Cooking water can be reduced by using the microwave, but this amount of water is already negligible compared to other contributions. Water for washing dishes can also be saved by not using the dishwasher. Using the toilet can’t really be avoided in our society, though. Instead of using a shower, you could try pouring water from a bucket. Still, the total is way more than 2 gallons. I did not actually bother doing all this, though. The local economy and available technology are important to our water supply as it influences the options we have for obtaining our water – can we have faucets and showers, or will all the water we get have to be transported by buckets carried in our hands? The local environment is obviously also important – can we get our water from the ground right next to our houses like I can? Or will we have to transport it from further away?

Tracking Water – Cody Rhodes

a) The water cycle through Los Gatos, California breaks down like this. Los Gatos gets its water through the San Jose Water Company, which manages three water treatment plants in three districts of the South Bay Area. The SJWC has three sources for water, groundwater (40%), imported surface water (40%), and local surface water (10%). In the case of importing surface water, water is imported from the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta and purchased from the Santa Clara Valley Water District. A majority of all the surface water originates as Sierra Nevada snowmelt. After it goes through the Rinconada Water Treatment plant and through the taps in Los Gatos, the drains dump into the Los Gatos Creek which runs to the Lexington Reservoir a few miles toward the coast. From there it can be recycled by the area in extended no-rainfall periods or slowly feed out to the Pacific Ocean.

b) Here’s a typical day breaks down for my water usage.

Brewing a Cup of coffee (2) = 8 fluid ounces each = 16 fluid ounces

3 bottles of water = approximately 50 fluid ounces

Shower (3 minutes at 2.1 gallons per minute) = 6.3 gallons

Brushing teeth (2 times) = approximately 2 fluid ounces

3 toilet flushes (3.5 gallons/flush) = 10.5 gallons

3 hand washes = approximately 18 fluid ounces


c) I normally keep my showers around five minutes, but the showerhead I have is dated so 2.1GPM is the steady flow of it. The experiment failed, but I did think on rationing my water usage a good bit. For example, I noticed that my soap dispenser was low enough on soap for some water in the top, so I did that to avoid running the faucet as much. I lead a very athletic life, so I tried to safely limit my water intake while playing basketball today. I also discovered I can’t function properly without two cups of coffee in the morning. On the whole, though, the geographic region I’m in allows for a lot of water wasting, or frivolous water usage. I do not see the same measures in State College, PA to conserve or reclaim/recycle water that I saw while living in California.


Joshua Wilkins Module 4 post

I live in State College, Pennsylvania and 99% of the water here is pumped up from groundwater. Almost 16 million gallons per day is pumped up for commercial use. From here, the water is transported through pipes to the State College Borough Water Authority. There is it cleaned and filtered for consumers. Through pipes that mostly follow roads and other major junctions, it finally makes it to homes and out of the tap. After it is used in the dwelling or home, the water is transported, again through pipes along roads, to the PSU water treatment facility. They receive a little less than three million gallons of water per day.


teeth brushings: 2 times

showers: 1 for 15 minutes

toilet flushes: 6 times

water drank: 7 glasses

total: 95.42 gallons per day


Some areas of use for water during this experiment are cooking, hydrating, and bathing. These are three most important uses of water in daily life, and is what the water consumption will be limited to for this day. The first priority would be to set aside the least amount of water need to cook whatever food would be cooked that day. If it were to be boiling rice, a small amount of water would be needed, but there are many courses that do not require any water for cooking. Using the least amount of water possible here frees up water for later use during the day. The rest of the remaining water must be set aside for bathing, toilet use, and hydrating. Bathing and toilet use could be limited easily by washing wish just a small amount of water and a washcloth and toilet use by consolidating trips to the restroom throughout the day, respectively. My experiment proved to be a success. I was able to use just under 2 gallons of water for the day. It was difficult, and I am happy this is not a regular challenge for my days. Geography matters to water use, because different regions use different amounts of water, as well as different regions get water from different sources and dispose of their waste in different manners.

Water Usage

Part 1-a

My hometown’s main surface water source is Lake Scranton.  Lake Scranton is maintained by Pennsylvania American Water (PAW) and the treatment facility can process up to a max of 33 million gallons of water per day.  The disposed water is then collected and brought to one of the three sewage treatment centers.  Some more water sources that we draw from in this aria is the Griffin Reservoir  and Summit Lake Reservoir.  These sources supplements the Lake Scranton system through PAW’s alternate water purification facilities.  The water supply is then distributed for residential, commercial, and industrial uses after it goes through the purification facilities.  I guess the closest facility to where I live (that I managed to find information on anyways) is the Throop Treatment plant.  At this plant they have grit removal channels, mechanical bar screens, sequencing batch reactors, belt filter press, UV disinfection channels, sludge thickener, aerobic digesters, primary setting tanks, aeration tanks, clarifiers, chlorine tanks, automated sodium hypo-chlorite feed system,de-chlorination feed system, automated alkalinity/pH feed system, and raw sewage pumps.  The permitted treatment capacity of the Throop treatment plant is 7.0 MGD.

Part 1-b

Water Usage for a day:

1x Shower 15mins = 57g

2x Brushing teeth = 2g

1x Hand washed dishes 10mins = 30g

4x Toilet uses = 20g

4x Faucets (washing hands) = 6g

2x Drinking water = 16oz

1x Shave = 1g

I use about 109.12 gallons per day.

Part 1-c

Trying to live off of 2 gallons of water for a day was a pretty tough challenge.  I understand water is a pretty valuable resource in some countries and having been able to live in Taiwan with my grandfather for a few months I was able to learn that pretty early (though I’ve been spoiled by everyday life).  To be able to do this, I did what we did oversees.  In the morning I’d take one shower/bath. I’d draw about .75 gallons of water to use to wipe myself down and then wash the soap/shampoo off.  I would then use .125 gallons (or 2 cups) of water to prepare rice for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.  Then next .125 gallons of water is used as my drinking water through out the day.  At the end of the day I started to use .5 gallons of water for cleaning the plates, rice cooker, and the glass I used.  The last .5 gallons was used for brushing my teeth in the morning and at night.  This was definitely a challenging experiment to accomplish, but due to my nature and personality (if I get absorbed into something) I tend to forget about everything around me (ex. hunger).  Geography is definitely an important factor for water use.  Some places around the world just don’t have the water supplies or even the technology to keep their water “usable.”  The location of an area will have dramatic effects on water usage, by either being just a drought/desert or even just cut off from a clean water supply.

Shaud Water Usage


‘m from Swarthmore PA, which is about 15 minutes north of Philadelphia. Because I love so close to the city, this is where my house gets its water supply. The Philly area has two water processing plants, the Queen Lane/Belmont plant and the Baxter plant. Water from the Schuylkill river is treated for bacteria and other harmful pollution at Queen Lane and then is sent into the city. At the Samuel S. Baxter plant water is taken from the Delaware, cleaned, and sent to the city. Some of this water is sent to the Delaware County Water Authority, where it is tested and dispersed into the county. There are hundreds of thousands of residents in the county served by this water authority. The water goes to my house and other residences in the area, then sewage is sent back to the DelCo Water Authority for treatment.


February 6, 2016

10 Minute Shower = 60 Gallons

Bathroom/Brush Teeth = 8 Gallons

Washing Face/Hands (throughout day)= 3 Gallons

Drinking Water = 1.25 Gallons

Making Coffee= .25 Gallons

Total = 72.5 Gallons of Water



Despite my best attempts, I came nowhere close to using just 2 Gallons of water a day. I ended up using roughly 10 gallons which actually isn’t that bad when compared to the 72.5 used earlier in the week. Priority was given to drinking water first but I drink a ton of water so already half my allowance was gone. After coffee and making pasta, I was above the limit. Unfortunately I needed to visit my girlfriend (aka I had to shower), which drove my water up at least 5 more gallons despite trying to keep it very short. Adding in brushing my teeth and washing hands, I was around 10. What I realized is that I’m basically unwilling to sacrifice any of these activities in my daily life although shortening my shower wasn’t too bad. Shaving in the shower instead of as a separate activity also saved a few gallons. It’s amazing to me that people live on 2 gallons a day in some places. Geography has amazing impacts on peoples lives, if those people had access to more water locally their lives would be greatly improved and they could spend less time surviving and more time doing great things. Overall I’d say it’s impossible to maintain the quality of life in our location without at least 500 gallons a week. While I only used 72.5 in my experiment that did not include things like laundry, filling a mop bucket, and other daily activities that happened to not occur that day. This was very eye opening, experiencing the severe shortage of water in certain parts of the world must be awful.

Water Supply and My Usage

I live in Pine Township, which is located about 20 minutes north of Pittsburgh.  My township contracts our water services out to the West View Water Authority.  They provide water for over 200,000 people in the Pittsburgh area.  The West View Water Authority treatment plant is located on Neville Island.  The plant obtains its water from the Ohio River and treats it using granular activated carbon among other chemicals.  After treatment, the water is pumped to one of 11 reservoirs located in their area of operation. From here the water is pumped into the Pine Township water storage tank.  The water storage tank is necessary because water is delivered by utilizing gravity.  When I turn on a tap or take a shower, gravity allows the water to flow down from the water tank, through a series of pipes and out my faucet.  From here the water goes down the drain and enters a series of pipes that take it to a wastewater treatment plant.  My wastewater treatment plant is located in the neighboring township of Cranberry.  The wastewater plant process the water using both physical process and chemicals.  After treatment it is released into Brush Creek.


I failed in my attempt to live on two gallons of water for a day.  My usage was roughly 5 gallons. The night before my attempt, I made a plan detailing my water usage for the entire day.  I used water for drinking, washing, brushing, toilet flushing, and dishwashing.  The largest portion of my daily water usage comes from showering.  We have an older shower that uses roughly 5 gallons per minute.  This would have blown me through my 2 gallon goal, so I took a shower the night before to eliminate my largest usage of water.  For my other activities, I consciously used as little water as possible.  Flushing the toilet is my second largest usage of water and I planned around this to minimize its impact.  I only used the facilities on campus, which are more efficient.  I also used the urinal as much as possible.  Despite not meeting my goal, I did substantially reduce my water usage compared to the total calculated in 1-b.  I can imagine the challenge of living in an area that does not receive adequate precipitation.  In order for a sustainable future, we need to build in areas with a reliable water supply.

Water Usage – Michael Celoni

1-a. The water supply chain for my hometown of Blue Bell, Pa starts at the Delaware River, where 93% of the water comes from (7% from groundwater). Approximately 96 million gallons of water per day is diverted from the river to Neshaminy Creek where it then flows to Lake Galena. Water from the lake then flows to the Forest Park Water treatment plant in Chalfont, Pa. After the water is treated, the North Wales Water Authority takes its share of the water and holds it in distribution mains. From the mains, water travels through pipes until it reaches homes. Once the water is used in homes and businesses, it goes down the drain into the sanitary sewer pipes. The water then flows from the sanitary sewer pipes to the East Norriton-Plymouth-Whitpain Joint Sewer Authority in Plymouth Meeting, Pa. It is treated to remove sludge through primary sedimentation, aeration, final sedimentation and chlorine disinfection. The treated water is then dispensed into the Schuylkill River.

1-b. water

That is total of 54.5 gallons of water.

1-c. For this challenge, I tried my best to limit my water usage but it was not easy. I kept drinking water as a priority and tried to cut back on everything else. I cut my shower time in half since that was one of the activities that used the most water and even went to the bathroom in the shower to save a toilet flush (don’t worry, just peeing). Brushing my teeth was about the same since I didn’t want to skimp on that. For washing dishes I just used paper plates which still isn’t good for the environment but it cut down on water. The toilet flushing was also something I couldn’t really cut back on because there was no way I was just going to let it sit there. Even though I was able to cut down on my usage, the experiment was still a failure. Compared to my average usage, it’s just not realistic for me to live on two gallons a day unless I took some extreme measures. Geography makes a huge impact on water usage because if you don’t near a source of fresh water or some sort of plant that treats water, you’ll have to limit your usage. What we need to do is make a collective action to save water so that the people who do live in more isolated areas can have the water that we’re not using.

Ben Ceci – Module 4 – Ways We Use Water

1 – A

The water supply chain in my hometown of Greenwich, CT is different for different people. Some use a well while others use water from the town. At my house, we have a well on site. When we bought the house, we did a lot of renovations and additions and at that time, in 2000, we drilled a private ground water well. This type of well absorbs groundwater after rainfall. Then a submersible pump with a motor pulls the water out through a plastic tube / pipe and into a blue pressure tank and then finally into the plumbing system in the house. Once the water goes down the drain, the wastes go through a main sewer line which comes out of one of the sides of the house and goes into a septic tank in the ground. Then most of the solids settle until the liquid goes into a drain field where pipes buried in the ground that have holes in the bottom. The water then comes out of the holes and goes into the ground. Every 2 – 4 years, a septic tank should be pumped to avoid clogging.


1 – B
Activity           Time / Repetitions      Water Per Use        Water Usage Per Activity
Shower                     1 x 7 mins           2 gallons / minute            14 gallons
Brushing Teeth         2 x 2 mins           1 gallon / minute              4 gallons
Drinking                    1 gallon jug          1 gallon                           1 gallon
Flushing                    5 flushes              3 gallons / flush               15 gallons
Washing Hands         6 washes             1 gallon / wash                6 gallons
Washing Dishes       1 x 10 mins       2 gallons / minute        20 gallons
Laundry                    1 Load               5 gallons / load                 5 gallons
Total Water Use:                                                                         65 gallons


1 – C

Living on 2 gallons of water a day in the summertime, or in a geographic location that is very hot, such as Mozambique or Haiti, would be very difficult. The high temperatures cause you to sweat more, which then calls for more showers and also for more drinking water so that you do not get dehydrated. If I had to do this, I would focus on hygiene and drinking water the most. I try to drink about a gallon of water a day but I think that I could do with half of a gallon if trying to cut back. I would then try to use .75 gallons for showering and use just enough water to wash my hair and body 3 times per week. I would use paper and plastic utensils or possibly no utensils at all to cut down on the washing time. I would also try to use the bathroom outdoors and not flush the toilet because at 3 gallons per flush, it all adds up. That leaves me with about .75 gallons to brush my teeth, and wash my hands, dishes, and clothes with. If I shut the water off when I brush my teeth and in between washing my hands and the dishes, I think that I could manage that. I would definitely be looked at as the smelly, dirty kid in the class and it would require a huge lifestyle change. I don’t know how long I would last in those conditions and this activity and part b combined really made me open my eyes and see how fortunate we are. When you count how much water you use per day and then see how much you can cut back on, it really is eye opening and we should all make a conscious effort to use less water. God bless those people in Mozambique and Haiti. That is unacceptable and something should be done to help them.

Module 4

I’m from New York City, where the water source originates from three different major watersheds, the Delaware and Catskill system, East of the Hudson River and Croton system, located north of the city. The next step of this water supply chain is the water traveling from the reservoirs and lakes and into a system of aqueducts and tunnels that are used to further convey the water. The most popular aqueducts are the Catskill Aqueduct, which is 100 years old, extends 92 miles and relies independently on gravity to carry the water and the Delaware Aqueduct, which extends 85 miles and is much newer. The next step, after the water has traveled through these aqueducts is to disinfect it. This takes place the Kensico Reservoir, which is 3 miles north of White Plains in Westchester County, New York. Here the water is treated with fluoride (in order to prevent tooth decay) and is disinfected at what is known to be the world’s largest ultraviolet facility. The UV treatment is used to obliterate harmful microorganisms like Cryptosporidium and Giardia. The final stop the water makes before arriving into homes is in Yonkers, where it is further disinfected. The Hillview Reservoir in Yonkers is critical in this process because it balances daily demand and it also helps by elevating the water so that the force of gravity will be able to push it into homes. Finally, the water is propelled into the city’s 3 main tunnels and distributed in homes.


Daily Activity Water Consumption (Gallons)
Drinking (5 water bottles) 0.8
Brushing teeth (3 minutes) x2 2
Shower (25 minutes) 62.5
Toilet flushing (6 times) 15
Washing hands (8 times) 6
Washing dishes (5 minutes) 20
Total Daily Usage 112.3



After conducing this experiment, I realized that the challenge to live on only 2 gallons of water a day is close to impossible for me. I hadn’t realized until I did this experiment that water use is a very important and crucial part of my day. Some of the strategies I used when conducting this activity was only taking one shower that day and brushing my teeth during one of them; I also drank less water than usual and skipped out on washing the dishes for that one day. For things such as toilet flushing or washing my hands, I didn’t really limit myself. My day of living off 2 gallons of water a day completely failed even though I did cut back on the amount I use significantly. When I compare this experiment to my daily use of water, I come to the realization that I really take the amount of water available to me for granted. I could never fully live off such a low amount of water. For the time being, 112.3 gallons per day is the best I can do unless I completely alter my lifestyle. Geography matters to water usage because it dictates how much water is available for populations worldwide.

Module 4: Hometown Water Supply and Water Usage

Part 1-a.

In my hometown of Elkland, PA the water supply system is very easy to trace. I interviewed my roommate’s father who works for the Elkland Borough. He explained to me in detail how the water supply system works in Elkland. First, there are two wells located in a field behind a hardware store in town. Water is fed into these wells from a water vein that flows from Seneca Lake in New York state. Once the water enters the wells it is then transferred to the water treatment plant located in the same field as the water wells. Only one well is used at a time in Elkland. This is so that the other well can serve as a backup in case the other well fails. In the water treatment plant the water is treated with a chemical named Alkamax to reduce the level of alkaline in the water that is natural. From the water treatment plant the water is pumped to a reservoir located on a hill just outside of town. At the reservoir the water is stored and used as needed. The water flows form the reservoir via gravity to the houses and businesses in town for use in sinks, toilets and anything else that uses water. After the water is used it is drained from the houses or businesses into the sewer line in Elkland. The water travels to a sewage treatment plant outside of town where it is cleaned and purified and then released into the Cowanesque River.

Part 1-b.

I used a tool from the USGS called WECalc to estimate the amount of water I use in a single day at home. Below are my results:

  • On average my household uses approximately 120 gallons of water
  • This is an average of about 38 gallons per person for 3 people
  • 46 gallons of this daily water usage is hot water.
  • The top chart shows the water usage for specific activities such as toilet use and shower use.
  • The bottom chart shows the percentage of water used in specific activities



Charts courtesy of:

Part 1-c.

One of the most challenging things for me would be to live off of just 2 gallons of water a day. To begin I will analyze the areas where I use water on a daily basis. As a college student I use less water than someone who lives at home a full time. I use water for cooking, washing dishes, flushing the toilet, brushing my teeth, showering, washing my hands and drinking. I imagine this alone is around 40 gallons a day on average. For this experiment of using on 2 gallons of water a day I would have to prioritize the use of my water. First I would need to use water for cooking and drinking mainly. These are the two most important things for survival. I would prioritize cleaning myself last.  Overall I was unable to conserve my water consumption to 2 gallons of use. I did cut out a shower just for the day to conserve most of my water consumption. However, I found my self automatically flushing the toilet every time I used it without realizing. I did not cook anything with water and instead ate sandwiches for food for the day so that I wouldn’t have to cook with water. I did use more than two gallons of water to wash dishes that my roommates and I needed to eat subs for dinner. I think I also drank almost a gallon or a gallon and a half of water in one day as well. I also used water when I washed my hands after using the bathroom. I figured going a day without a shower would save a lot of water which is an example of an individual action to try and change my water use footprint for a day. A small scale collective action was implemented when my roommates agreed to cut out using water for cooking dinner for the day I conducted this experiment. This experiment is vastly different than my typical day as I usually shower and cook using a lot of water. I also tend to wash more dishes at a time than just a few plates like I did for this experiment. It is safe to say that I failed this experiment as I just couldn’t kick the habit of flushing and washing my hands. Geography is largely influential on water use. The location of a town or country can determine how much water can be used. For example, the United States uses a lot of water because there is a lot of fresh water inland. In countries like Hati there is not much fresh water inland and so there has to be restrictions on the use of water. Also the area around places that use water can influence where the used water is treated and then released. The individual and collective actions taken by people in a geographical area also strongly influences the amount of water used.


Water Tracking and Usage

1-A. In my hometown of West Nyack, New York, our water is supplied by United Water New York from a reservoir that is 1000 feet from my house. According to product flyer produced by United Water New York information, the reservoir has a capacity of 5.6 billion gallons of water, and supplies 30% of the counties needs to over 270,000 people with an average daily demand of 31.5 million gallons. The water being collected is called surface water, and comes from lakes, rivers, and the reservoir. These sources are used to collect water into the reservoir from which point a water treatment facility pumps the water out the all the residents and businesses in our town. From the water treatment facility, the water is then supplied to many different faucets and appliances in our house. After utilization in our house, the water is drained back through the sewer system before it is treated and finally deposited back into the reservoir.

1-B.  I kept track of all the water I used today, which I think was relatively lighter usage than most days. In total I used approximately 187.36 gallons of water according to USGS. According to my chart, I consumed approximately 144 gallons of water throughout the day. Water consumption for the activities in the chart were taken from USGS.


Activity Teeth Brushing Hand/Face Washing Shower Toilet Flushes 8 oz glasses drank Dishwasher Loads Dishwashing by hand
Frequency 2 5 15 minutes 5 6 1 5
Water Usage 4 gallons 5 gallons 75 gallons 20 gallons <1 gallon 15 gallons 25 gallons


To survive on 2 gallons of water I would have to ration out every fluid ounce of water to every task that I do, but with a limit of 2 gallons, those tasks would only be ensuring my survival. According to Mayo Clinic, adult males should consume on average 3 liters (0.8 gallons) of water. I may use a handful of water to wash my mouth and brush my teeth (0.1-0.4 gallons). In terms of waste production, I would be probably using an outhouse that consists of a deep hole in the ground, and would not be reliant on any water there. The rest of the water will probably be saved, or used to bath if I want to feel clean that week. It is necessary to keep the water in case of situation where there would be no available water, which is probable if I was limited to 2 gallons per day. The experiment succeeded as I was able to utilize only 1.2 gallons. The activities that I could do are significantly limited to what I routinely do every day. Geography relates to this water issue as the location of sources of water significantly determines the quality of life people have in the areas that they inhabit.

Water Usage, Perricone

Part 1-a:

For my home town of Honesdale PA, the homes in town use water from Bucks Cove Lake. This reservoir is supplied by the Lackawaxen River and accessible via Bucks Cove Road. The reservoir is located six hundredths of a mile outside of town, the previously used reservoir was over five miles outside of town when the pipe network was in need a repair and Bucks Cove Lake replaced it to comply with the town’s needs. The water is pumped into town using a pipe network that mostly follows the roads. Most of the pipes in question were replaced last summer. Once the water is used in houses in town and sent down a drain away from said houses, it is piped back to a wastewater treatment plant accessed by the same road, Bucks Cove Road. The address for the complex is 574 Bucks Cove Road. The treated water is released downstream of the Lackawaxen river to reenter the Lackawaxen river section of the Delaware River Basin Watershed. My personal home has a well that pumps well water straight into my house and we have a sewer on our property that the wastewater is filtered through.

Part 1-b:

Water use:

Drinking 0.6 gallons a day

Cooking 1 gallon a day

Dish washing 30 gallons per day

Flow rate from tap: 1.5 gallons per minute

Time running water: 20 minutes

Shower 26.25 gallons per day

Flow rate from shower head: 1.75 gallons per minute

Time running water: 15 minutes

Teeth brushing 0.425 gallons per day

Flow rate from bathroom tap: 0.85 gallons per minute

Time running water (with turning on and off): 0.5 minute

Hand washing 5.1 gallons per day

Flow rate from bathroom tap: 0.85 gallons per minute

Time running water: 0.5 minutes

Washings per day: 12

Toilet flushing 28 gallons per day

Gallons per flush (model from 1980-1992 time frame): 3.5 gallons per flush

Flushes per day: 8 flushes per day

Rinsing wash rag for cleaning 1 gallon per day

Laundry 11.49 gallons per day

2 loads a week

40 gallons per load (old machine)

80 gallons per week

Total water use in home: 114.2 gallons per day

Part 1-c:

I am going to reference a summer camping trip as the two gallon a day water use experiment. While camping, I was lucky enough to be by a river which allowed me to clean my body. I did use wet wipes for washing. I brought enough clothing, and did not use a toilet or cook any food that required water. My water usage was limited to drinking, and a half cup for brushing teeth. The amount of water I drank increased due to weather and activity leading to a total water use of about a gallon. This was made possible by not needing to use machines, as in a toilet or washing machine, which use high amounts of water, and I did not use dishes. This worked for one day but is not a lasting life style. Some of the items I used, wet wipes and plastic silverware, are not available in the areas listed. As an experiment, I could live with significantly less water use and perhaps take steps to decrease day-to-day consumption, but this is a failed experiment due to the need of flushing toilets and running washing machines when living in a home in an urban area.

Daily Water Usage – K. Leimkuhler

a). I live in Chester County, Pennsylvania. More specifically, I am from Paoli, a smaller town within Chester County. This area is approximately twenty miles west of Philadelphia. Using I was able to get a wealth of knowledge about the source of water for not only my county, but my town specifically. I also gained an understanding about the treatments that it goes through to get from the source to my faucet! Chester Country has approximately 2,438 miles of streams, creeks, and tributaries, and 780 square miles of underlying watersheds. These aquifers and streams exist as 21 watersheds. Paoli resides within the Valley Creek watershed. A water shed is bordered by natural boundaries (mountains, hills, etc.) that keep precipitation and runoff within that area. It is from this watershed that Paoli sources its water supply. After the water collection process, it goes through the the seven main steps of the water purification process: Coagulation, Flocculation, Sedimentation, Disinfection, pH Adjustment, Fluoridation, and Filtration. These steps are pretty integral to all water purification processes and after seeing these steps outlined on CCWRA I was able to look online for a more in-depth explanation about what each step was responsible for.

b). Below is my water usage chart for a single day. Obviously this can change with the day if I happen not to run the dishwasher, need to do laundry, or anything else. I think this demonstrates a fairly accurate day.

Water Use Occurences Total # Gallons
Teeth Brushings 2 2
Hand Washings 4 4
Face Shavings 1 1
Showers (10 mins.) 2 100
Toilet Flushes 4 12
Water I Drank (8 oz.) 8 0.5
Dishwasher Loads 1 10

c). Living on two gallons would be quite the drastic change to my daily habits! I always take take a shower in the morning, and I always take a shower when I get home from practice. Eliminating these showers would take me down to 29.5 daily gallons. I would continue to eliminate all forms of hygiene (teeth brushing, hand washing, and face shaving) so that my daily gallons would decrease down to 22.5. If I was in a location like Mozambique or Haiti, I would imagine I wouldn’t have access to toilet flushing as easily or dishwasher loads. After that I’m pretty much at my .5 gallons of drinking water and any additional water for washing my clothes/dishes. I think this example is extremely dependent on your location; 2 gallons with normal human interaction (not smelling bad) in a place like Pennsylvania would be very disruptive.

From my daily water usage today my main water usage came from showering, dishwasher loads, and toilet flushes. I think priority wise, this is a fairly decent water usage table. Its under the average water usage for someone in the United States, and even though two showers represent 83% of my water usage, two showers is perfectly normal especially after exercising. I think if I were to look at cutting down my water usage, I would eliminate my shower in the meaning (thus cutting my water usage by 60%. To reference the paragraph above, I think two gallons a day in the location I am would fail. Not using water on any hygiene would be extremely noticeable to my peers and would simply be disruptive to my daily life. I think this really highlights how geography accounts for water usage. The area that I live in (both geographically and economically) allow me to use the water that I do. I were in a different location such as Mozambique or Haiti, this would be a totally different situation.

Module 4: Water Usage

My hometown, Bucks County, PA uses the same water water system that Northeast Philadelphia does due to its location. The water is first taken out from the Delaware River in Torresdale Philadelphia and brought to the Baxter Water Treatment Plant. At the plant, the water is taken out and filtered to make sure all of the debris that were in the water are gone. Chlorine is then added to make sure it is safe for distribution. The system takes about 190 million gallons of water a day and serves close to 750,000 people in Philadelphia and Bucks County areas. After being treated at the Baxter Water Treatment Plant, some of the water is sent to the Bucks County Sewer and Water Authority as well as other distribution plants.  After being sent out to residences and the rest of the community, the water then comes back to the Bucks County Sewer and Water Authority where the sewage is properly disposed of.

Monday February 8th Water log:

Shower (10 minutes): 5 gallons per minute = 50 gallons

Teeth Brushing (2 times a day): = <2 gallons

Hands/face washing (6 times a day): = 6 gallons

Dishwashing (2 times a day, totaling 8 minutes): 2 gallons per minute = 16 gallons

Drinking water (10 glasses): = 0.625 gallons

Toilet flushing (5 times): = 15 gallons

Total: = 89.625 gallons

For my experiment to try and only use 2 gallons of water for a day,  I wanted to prioritize my hygiene, cooking, and drinking. The first thing I cut down was my shower to 2 minutes. I saved 40 gallons by just doing this. I cut down washing my dishes because I used paper plates and plastic forks so I only had to wash one pan and a spatula which took less than a minute to clean. I also cut my drinking water down to 7 glasses for the day which totaled 0.5 gallons of water. I turned the sink off while I was brushing my teeth in the morning and night. Instead of washing my face in the sink like I normally do, I used my makeup remover wipes. Although I did not achieve only using only 2 gallons of water in a day, I was able to cut it down to about 31 gallons which is much better than my average 90 gallons per day. Geography matters in water use because it ultimately determines the amount of access that people have to water in their daily lives. Less developed countries have stricter access to water that highly developed areas, thus not allowing them to develop as much as they should.

Water Usage

Part 1a-I am from the suburbs right outside of Pittsburgh,Pa. The water in my area comes from a water company called the Oakmont Water Authority. The water is drawn from the Allegheny River. First,impurities in the water are removed. Minerals such as potassium and fluoride are then added to the water. The purified water is then stored in a elevated tank. Distribution mains the carry the water from the tanks to service lines. Service lines transport the water into homes.The water is pumped into the water heater where it is separated into hot and cold water taps. After the water, has been used it is drained into a sewer. This dirty water is pumped backed to the sewage plat where it undergoes multiple treatment process in order to re enter the water system. The processes include the removal of solid debris and the breakdown of the remaining sludge.

Part 1b- Water Usage 2/8/16

Shower- 120 gallons

Flushing Toilet-16 gallons

Drinking water- 1/2 gallon

Laundry- 6 gallons

Washing hands- 4 gallons

Brushing Teeth- 1 gallon

Cooking-1 gallon

Total=148.5 gallons

Part 1c-

Limiting myself to just two gallons of water was pretty much impossible for the lifestyle that I have grown comfortable with. I drink a lot of water daily and I use a lot of water to cook which made this limit very difficult for me. The priorities for my water usage for this experiment were my drinking water and the water I use to shower. To attempt to cut down on my water usage I took shorter showers and I brushed my teeth in the shower instead of in the sink. I also attempted to cut foods that took a lot of water to make such as pasta. This experiment was a fail for me. Because drinking enough water is a priority for me I used almost half of my water supply on that which left very little room to do anything else. Even though I failed, this experiment caused me to drastically change my water usage compared to part b. Water usage in relation to geography is very important. Areas with less water availability are forced to use less water in their daily lives or suffer the consequences and have no water to use similar to what was described in the tragedy of the commons.

Module 4- Personal Water Supply and Usage

I live in a town called South Brunswick in central New Jersey I happen to live very close to our water supply.  We get our supply of water from underground aquifers usually in Elizabethtown.  I have never realized, but as I drive on Miller Road and through the places bordering my town I have passed by places that we get our water supply from.  Most places in my town get there water from aquifers and our water is all underground.  However, I do know that there is an older part of South Brunswick that only get their water from personal wells.  There are around four places in South Brunswick that has wells, one on Jamesburg Road, Georges Road, Broadway Road and Miller Road.  The South Brunswick Water Division owns all of the wells in the township.  They have a range of depth from 118 to 170 feet and they were all completed in between 1963 and 1998.


TOTAL: 67.3 gallons

The top three areas of water use that I prioritize for this experiments are cooking drinking and washing. The biggest struggle to cut down water use is definitely coming from my morning shower.  I like to take a shower in the morning to wake myself up, however with restricted water it can not nearly be as long as usual, in fact I could not even take a shower I have to change my shower to more of a sponge bath since showers use 2 gallons of water per minute at least.  Not only do I have to cut down my morning shower to a sponge bath but I have to make sure that there is enough water to cook and clean the dishes after.  Instead of boiling my broccoli as I sometimes like to do I would have to bake it or pan fry instead since most of my water will be used up by bathing.  At first I thought that I could scratch having cooking water so that I could add water to my sponge bath however once I thought about it I realized that if I didn’t clean my dishes then I could potentially get bugs or have mold form and I also had to use the bathroom.  Overall my whole day is dependent on water and depending on my geography I may feel the need to use more water especially in a much hotter climate.

Water Tracking & Usage

A) My name is Amir Paris, my hometown is Dallas, located in Northeastern Pennsylvania in the mountains. We’re fortunate enough to get fresh, clean, potable water from a nearby well. We rent the property so I’m not exactly sure of where the well is located.
I think I became appreciative of this when I moved to State College, where the municipal water coming to the sink looks and smells odd. I learned in my wastewater treatment class about excessive estrogen in our municipal water here as well, which keeps me using a Brita at all times. Due to living in third world countries, where clean tap water was nothing but a fantasy, it was hard to convince my family to stop buying bottled water after moving to this well-supplied house. But as a Water Resources Engineering focus student, I was able to convince them to make the switch. We now drink the water from the sink, which not only saves us money, but definitely helps preserve the environment by not constantly cycling through plastic bottles. According to my landlord, the water does go to the municipality after usage.

B)Here is my tracked water usage for 2/08/2016


C)When I visited Panama last summer. Our water usage was roughly 2 gallons per day. When there, I washed my hands on the river, along with my clothes, and dishes. The community did not have access to clean water, however, we purified river water every night. Showers took no more than 2 minutes since the water was limited and cold. We prioritized the water for strictly washing and drinking. We used a latrine, which did not require water. Cooking water also came from the river which was then boiled to a cleansing point. Since there were 10 of us, the amount of water used to cook came down to less than 1/16th of a gallon per person per day. Geography matters, considering the fact that most houses in this community did not even have access to a hose for water. Although the river provides endless water, purification was difficult, and a trip down to it isn’t easy for everyone. This was one of many things I learned to appreciate from this Panama trip. I understand that water is not limited in Pennsylvania, and I’m afraid to say I take advantage of it sometimes. This is because I don’t see the consequences of doing so as clearly when water is as readily available as it is.

Module 4- Jonah Kim


85% of the water source in my hometown all starts from the North Branch Neshaminy Creek (NBNC) just downstream of Lake Galena located in Bucks County. The water from Neshaminy Creek is then run through the Forest Park Water Treatment Plant. The Forest Park Water Treatment Plant is responsible for providing water to the North Wales Water Authority and the North Penn Water Authority. My family uses the North Penn Water Authority’s services to provide our home with water. We have one large kitchen sink with two sinks within the one sink, three bathrooms, three toilets, two showers and five bathroom sinks. The other 15% comes from 17 groundwater wells located throughout  Bucks and Montgomery Counties. Then, the water is used in my home however. I was unable to find out what happens to the wastewater. My home is lined with pipes from the North Penn Water Authority so I assume that they are responsible for our wastewater.


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In my home the water I clean, cook, bathe, brush my teeth and use the restroom. My priorities lie in my personal needs. I have to drink water to survive but I could definitely cut down. I could brush my teeth with my sink off. I would run my hair under the shower quickly once. Then, turn off the water and then scrub my hair with shampoo and body wash. Lastly, I’d rinse as quickly as possible. With my bodily waste, I would have to not flush the toilet for the entire day. I actually failed at doing this. The bathing and drinking were easy to do but the waste was tough. My mom got upset once she found out that I was not flushing the toilet and she flushed it anyway. Toilets just need to be flushed if you live with other people. I am very grateful that I live in an area where there is a large water source nearby. Knowing where my water comes from makes me think of all the other people using the same source. And despite the environmental collective action problem I will keep trudging along and try to use less and less water.


water water everywhere…

Water, water everywhere…
Part 1-a) In Grand Rapids Michigan we get our water from the Grand River. From the river it goes through a process to ensure it is potable for human consumption. From the treatment facility it is brought into homes throughout the area. After water is used and flushed or drained it goes to a waste water facility where it is filtered, treated (if needed) held for a certain amount of time and released back into the river.
Where I live now we do not utilize public water. We have a well that produces ground water, pumps it through a sediment filter and into a holding tank. After we use the water it is flushed into a septic tank where it is held and filtered and released back into the ground.
Part 1-b) Daily water usage:
Brush Teeth- 1 cup of water
Drinking water throughout the day- 1 gallon
Bathroom- 1 gallon per flush (roughly 4 flushes per day)
Washing hands- roughly 2-3 gallons per day
Water for animals- (not sure if this counts) 5-7 gallons per day
Cooking- 4-5 gallons per day
Bathing- 15-20 gallons per day

Part 1-c) Living on two gallons of water a day is difficult, but not impossible. Especially if you literally only have two gallons of water per day. Obviously, rationing enough water to ensure you have enough to drink is paramount. After that ensuring you have enough water for cooking and sanitary functions is the next most important step. There have been multiple times in the military where we were placed on water rations. It is relatively easy to survive on a certain amount of water when it is all you have. You either manage your water properly, or you run out and have nothing left! Considering I use half the rationed amount of water just in drinking I do not think I would make living on two gallons of water a day! One’s geographical location is crucial when considering water use. If you are in an area where there is an abundant water supply you do not need to concern yourself, as much, with water restrictions. Whereas if you are in an arid climate that is void of natural water sources you need to pay much closer attention to your water usage because you are either paying a premium to import your water or have a scarce amount available naturally.

Water Usage Module 4: Caitlyn Ramirez


My hometown is Bridgeport, PA. It is right outside of Philadelphia and in Montgomery County. There isn’t one specific water system that all of Bridgeport uses. My family specifically uses the Norristown System, which is a part of Pennsylvania American Water. It obtains its water from the Schuylkill River and serves multiple boroughs and townships, which include Norristown, Bridgeport, and Upper Merion. Despite most of the water coming from the river, .03 percent is purchased from a different water system, Aqua-Pennsylvania, and about .50 is purchased from North Wales Water Authority. The average amount of water supplied to customers on a daily basis is about 11 million gallons of water. It travels from the river to the treatment plant, then to the pipes to our home. After water usage, the water heads down the drain in the house and makes its way directly into waterways that are a source for public water systems, such as the Norristown System.



Water Usage Type Number of Times Daily Gallons of Water Used
Teeth Brushing 2 4
Hand/Face Washing 2 2
Face/Leg Shaving 2 1
Showers (10 min) 1 50
Toilet Flushes 5 15
Water you Drank 2 16 oz.
Dishwasher Loads 1 16
Dishwashing by Hand 4 20


Total Number of Gallons Used:  108 gallons and 16 oz.



Two gallons of water for one day seems pretty difficult since I use a little over 100 gallons in one day. I’m sure though if people in other parts of the world can do it, then so can I.  I’m sure if I only take a shower once a day that uses an energy saving shower head, it won’t use as much water and I can probably do the face washing and brushing teeth while I am showering. As for dishwashing loads and dishwashing by hand, I could just buy paper plates and utensils to save water. I don’t drink much water normally, which isn’t exactly healthy, but since I only drink about 16 oz. a day, then it shouldn’t be a problem to use that much water. My priorities are definitely drinking water and maintaining my hygiene, but there are days when I could go without washing my hair and use something such as dry shampoo or baby powder, and just wash my body. I think this experiment would be very difficult and I’m sure I would fail on my first try, but if I continued to try it out, I’m sure I could get the hang of it and figure out better ways to conserve water by trial and error. As discussed in Module 4, the social norms around me are basically using water as we want because we have it. However, social norms in other places, such as Haiti or Mozambique, aren’t the same as they are here. Geography is a big influence on how much water people use, especially if there are no water systems around. Places without water systems are usually places in which people are poorer and use water straight from rivers or lakes. That water could be contaminated, but that is all they have. It definitely puts things in perspective and makes you realize how lucky we are and how we can make a difference and conserve water.

Water Tracking and Usage

Part 1-a: The water in my hometown or Vienna, Virginia originates from the Potomac River as ground water or storm runoff.   The river water then branches off into smaller streams and is redirected to the James J. Corbalis Jr. treatment plant where it is then filtered basically through screening of large objects including fish and debris. The water settles in big pools in order to separate the water and sediment. Chlorine is added t to disinfect the water. Fluoride is also added to protect the users teeth. The water is then stored and distributed to standpipes and water towers near my town. When ready to be used, it is then gravity fed to the communities throughout my town. The water is then directed underground to my house up to my water tank, the water is then heated or cooled to be used for cooking, cleaning, drinking and whatever household uses for water.  The water when done being used is drained into the sewer and then re-filtered in a sewage plant and eventually put back into the Potomac River.


Part 1-b:


1-15 minute Shower- 75 gallons

2-Teeth Brushings- 2* 3 = 6 gallons

1-Shave- 1 Gallon

2-Toilet Flushes- 2*3 = 6 Gallons

4-Glasses of water- 1/2 Gallon

2-dishwasher loads- 2*10 = 20 gallons

1-Laundry Load-30 gallons


Total gallons- 138.5 Gallons



Part 1-c: If I were given only two gallons or (256oz) of water for a day I would use about 50oz for drinking. I would use about 16oz to shave my face, and another 30 to brush my teeth. I would use 1 gallon to hand wash my clothes. I wouldn’t shower and would use the restroom in the great outdoors. The last 32oz of water would be used for cooking food.   I set my priorities in this experiment based on necessity. I used majority of the water for drinking and cooking, secondly I used a large amount to wash my clothing.   I also resulted in using no water to cleanse myself or flush which saved around 80 gallons of water, essentially half of the water used on any normal day. To be honest I don’t think I could live on two gallons of water, although I had described so above, I did not include showering which is a crucial part of my daily routine. Considering that my geographical location is close to the Potomac River, I would have the option to bathe in the river, which would be a huge asset.

Module 4- Water

  1. A) My hometown is Lititz, Pennsylvania. It is a small town in Lancaster County that is located in south-central Pennsylvania. The source of our drinking water in Lititz includes rivers, lakes, streams, ponds, reservoirs, and springs all of which feed wells. From what I’ve read, our water travels through the ground or over the surface of our land, it dissolves naturally occurring minerals and even some radioactive materials. The water is then treated at The Lititz Borough Treatment plant before being pumped to my home. Our Lititz Run Watershed has been tested as having a medium to high-risk of significant contamination, which can be understood because northern Lancaster County has many farms and businesses that probably cause unwanted pollutants. From the sink to drain to sewer pipes, which is connected to approximately 560 miles of pipeline, the wastewater then goes through 1 of 38 pumping stations. Once processed through the station, the wastewater makes it’s way to the treatment facility. The wastewater treatment sight is called the Susquehanna Water Pollution Control Facility. It was designed to treat over 15 million gallons of wastewater per day. Our sewer and disposal sight is owned and operated by The Lancaster Area Sewer Authority (LASA). It is a municipal authority that was started in 1965. LASA currently owns, operates, and maintains a sanitary sewer system that serves approximately 37,000 customer, 100,000 citizens, and 1,300 businesses located in Lancaster.


  1. B) Monday: TOTAL: 45 GALLONS

Shower: 5 gallon x 5 minutes=25 gallons

Toilet: 3 gallons x 6 times=18 gallons

Hand/face washing: 1 gallon

Teeth Brushing: .5 gallons

Water drank: 72 oz approximately .5 gallon


  1. C) The areas that I directly used water in were the shower, toilet and for drinking water. I made it a priority to drink water because our body cannot function without it. The most water that I used was for taking my shower. I made it a priority to use my water while showering, because I am so used to showering everyday that if I were to go the day without it, I would feel very uncomfortable. I took a much quicker shower, though, than I typically do on an everyday basis in order to conserve water, but it was difficult to shampoo and condition my hair in such a short period of time. I also decided to use my water for the toilet. This is not something that I did/did not want to do; it was a necessity. I might have had an easier time if I was in the wild or a poorer country, like Haiti or most countries in Africa, because it would be socially acceptable to use the restroom in the wild, but since I was in State College, I had to use a toilet. I had a fairly easy time not washing my hands, face, or teeth in order to save water; this seemed like the most unnecessary of my water habits. Although I did not successfully complete the water challenge, I definitely cut down on my water usage. There was no way that I would have been able to effectively complete it with having to use a toilet and shower. I definitely cut down on my water footprint in comparison to my usual lifestyle, but I could not complete it.  I think that the biggest effect that this assignment had on me was that it made me aware of my “water footprint,” and alerted me to the fact that I should think twice before doing an extra load of wash or taking a second shower after I work out.   I also got to thinking about how lucky we are here in central Pennsylvania where the geography allows us to have a plentiful supply of water. Many years we get 25-30 inches of rain (that doesn’t include water in the form of snow), which is a luxury compared to the 5 inch average of rain that, for example, Kenya gets yearly.  The water use habits that I follow in central Pennsylvania are definitely very relaxed compared to habits that I’d have to adopt in areas of the world where precipitation is much less plentiful.


Annaliese Long’s Water Usage

Part 1-A: The water supply chain in my hometown of Pottstown, PA depends on whether you have a well or you use the township’s water. Personally, my family uses water from a well that is located in our backyard. The water well was drilled when my family first moved into our house in 2002. There are underground water tables that we drilled a hole to in order to access the water. So the water from underground travels through the pipes that we drilled with, into my house and out of the tap. Once it goes down the drain, the water travels into sewer drains under the streets and is then transported to either one of two locations. The first would be the North Coventry Township Water Treatment Plant, so the water can try to be purified and reused. The second location for the extra water is straight into the Schuylkill River, about 2 miles from my house.


Part 1-B:

Daily Activity Amount of Water for 1 Use How Many Times Water Use for Activity
Brushing teeth 1 gal/min 2 3 min brushes 6 gallons
Washing Hands 1 gal 6 6 gallons
Shower 2 gal/min 1 15 min shower 30 gallons
Flushing Toilet 3 gal 5 15 gallons
Drinking Water 8 oz. 8 glasses 64oz. = 1.89 L = 0.5 gal
Washing Dishes 2 gal/min 1 5 min wash 10 gallons
    TOTAL: 67.5 gal = 255.5 L


Part 1-C: If I had to live on only two gallons of water per day, I would use that water for brushing my teeth, washing my hands, showering, flushing the toilet and drinking. In this experiment, my priorities would be drinking water and daily hygiene (shower, washing hands, brushing teeth). In order to cut down water, I could attempt to only shower every other day and try to only use about a gallon of water. I could just clean my body with soap and then wet a washcloth and rinse my body, and wash my hair. Also, when going to the bathroom, I could cut down all of that water by just not flushing at all. If more people would not flush the toilet, until they were the last person to use that toilet for a while, we could conserve so much water. I could also quickly wash my hands so that I kill some germs, and then use hand sanitizer after to kill the rest of the germs. Another way that I could cut down on water usage would be to only use water to quickly rinse out my mouth after brushing my teeth. So I would devote 0.5 gallons of my water to drinking because I need that to stay alive. Then I every other day I would use 1 gallon of water to showering, and the other 0.5 gallons to brushing my teeth and washing my hands. On the days where I do not shower, I could use the 1 gallon to shave, do the dishes, or wash my clothes. This experiment epically failed. I could sometimes get away with not flushing the toilet, but it was impossible for me to only shower with one gallon of water every other day. The amount of water saved for brushing my teeth and washing my hands worked out nicely, but since I couldn’t bathe with one gallon of water, it didn’t even matter. I do not think that I could ever live in this type of lifestyle because as seen in part 1-B, I use almost 34 times as much water on a daily basis. I would have to make some serious, drastic changes in my life if I lived off of 2 gallons of water per day. Geography has a huge impact on water usage because a lot of countries that rely on large amounts of water everyday, like China or India, do not even have this necessary water supply. They need to import lots of water into their country. And most countries that have access to large amounts of water, do not necessarily need all of it. Most countries that contain deserts or dry lands are the countries that do not have a lot of access to water. The countries that have a lot of rainforests and other wetlands do have plenty of water access. Geography is very important to water usage.

My Water Usage

In my hometown of Allentown, Pennsylvania, around 18 million gallons per day is sourced from Little Lehigh Creek, Lehigh River, Crystal Spring, and/or Schantz Spring. From there, the water is treated at the LCA Wastewater Treatment Plant. Next, the water is filtered at the LCA Water Filtration Plant. The process so far consists of coagulation (thickening the liquid) and flocculation (separating solid particles from a liquid), settling, filtration, and chemical addition. For example, chlorine is used to kill bacteria while corrosion-control treatment is to assure the control of the pH levels. Another addition is fluoride (0.6 parts per million). The water remains in the same area, but in a different building, the LCA Water Distribution and Sewer Collection Systems. This is where the water leaves to get to our taps, and also comes back to from our taps. This system is controlled by the Lehigh County Authority, more specifically the Allentown Division. In fact, these plants are all located within Allentown.

Water Usage

My use of water is through hygiene and dietary needs. Having to live on two gallons per day, my priorities were cooking, drinking, brushing my teeth. This totals below my maximum, but the experiment failed. This was because, in reality, showering, although not a priority, was a must, which adds 30 gallons alone. Therefore, I’d have to reduce showers to maybe a couple times a week or less, but this wasn’t possible for me. Still, I took a shorter shower, and only used water to rinse my mouth and not before to wet the toothbrush. I used less dishes while cooking and eating. The main trouble, comparing to the chart, was the shower and toilet flush, which I wasn’t able to improve.

Geography matters for water use. For example, a hotter area will require more drinking water. The difficulty in attaining water or available supply can affect water use too. The quality of the water can be a factor as can the ease of living in a certain area (due to weather, landscape). The harder it is to get water, the worse the water pollution, or the less demographics in an area, can mean less water use and vice versa.



Alisha Tyler-Lohr

So I decided to track the water usage not where I live now, but at my fiance’s home in Indiana. His family has water that comes from a well in the backyard. It fills naturally through the rain water and through the soil. From that it travels into the spouts of the different faucets. After use, the water from the toilet is drained into a sewage pump container. Water that is used from other faucets in the home go through purification and is reused. It’s interesting that they use this kind of new technology. They paid a lot of money to get ahold of this new technology, but it has been well worth their investment. This has not only reduced their water footprint in our environment, it has also been cost effective for their home. It has been really interesting to see how it worked as well as how it has effected and reduced their overall water use. Because of one change in their home, they are now subconsciously more observant of the amount of water they are using.

Watching My Water

  1. One Shower
  2. One Teeth Brushing (I know I’m lazy)
  3. 2 Glasses of water (I know I’m dehydrated)
  4. 3 Toilet flushing (Again dehydrated)

For the day, I used about 62 Gallons of water.


            So my 2 gallon day was a challenge. The main areas that I thought would be great to focus on was cooking and showering. I thought that just by turning off the water while I brush my teeth and in between washing my hands, I would make a difference. But as soon as I used the restroom twice, it ruined all of it. I also tried to cut down my water footprint by satueeing a lot of my food rather than boiling it, as well as baking my foods. This experiment measured just about the same to what my gallons were in part b. I believe that geography maters because it has to be a collective as well as individual action. It is a collective problem, because it affects everyone. But if we all don’t take both individual and collective action against it, we will not be able to make a big enough foot print. If not everyone takes action, there will not be enough help to change our overall footprint.

Peter Han Module 4


In my hometown of Niles Michigan, water is pumped from city-owned wells being drawn from aquifers deep in the ground. They pump anywhere between 2 and 4 million gallons of water. This water travels through pipes to the many homes and businesses in the city. Many improvements have been made over the last 5-10 years including the construction of an iron filtration plant and an intermediate water pressure district. There are also five water tanks and wells that have back up generators in case of power outages. All of the wastewater is sent to the Niles Wastewater Treatment Plant, which cleans and then recycles the water.


Shower and Brushing Teeth (10 minutes) – 50 gal

6 Water bottles (16.9 oz) – .8 gal

Flushing toilet (5 times) – 1.6 gal each = 8 gal

Washing hands (3 times) – 1 gal

My daily water usage is 59.8 gal of water.


Living on two gallons of water a day would be extremely hard. As I said in part B, I usually use about 60 gallons of water a day. In order to cut this down to two gallons I had to cut down on my shower use as well as flushing the toilet as these were my two main uses of water. When doing this experiment I decided to allow myself about the same amount of drinking water, as this is essential. I decided not to shower because every minute uses 5 gallons and I was not allowed that much water. I also decided not to flush the toilet throughout the day, which probably didn’t make the other people who use the communal bathroom on my floor too happy. I decided to quickly rinse of my hands and used a very minimal amount of water to brush my teeth. I was able to keep my usage of water under two gallons but it was far from hygienic. From this experiment I learned how unsanitary it is to live on two gallons of water a day and realized how big of an issue water is in other countries. Geography matters to water use as there are some countries that have an abundance of water and overuse it and there are also countries that do not have enough water.

Water Usage


Part 1-A:

I am from State College, Pennsylvania. The town’s water supply comes from the State College Borough Water Authority. The water is stored in two well fields, Houserville and Big Hollow, which all together contain 9 wells and the system uses about 5.5 million gallons of water per day. The water is treated at a Roberts contact clarification filter plant and the water is treated with chlorine for disinfection. After the water is collected and has gone through the filtration system, the water is delivered to the distribution system, which stores 15 million gallons in 11 tanks. These tanks lead to pipes that distribute the water to the households in the area. Once the water has been used and has gone down the drain, it is sent to a water waste treatment plant.

1-b. Activity:

Brushing Teeth(x2): 2 gallons

Showering: 40 gallons

Washing hands and face: 10 gallons

Drinking water: (16.9 oz): .5 gallons

Flushing Toilet(x4): 10 gallons

Dishes: 20 gallons

Total: 82.5 gallons


Part C:

Considering that I use about 82.5 gallons of water everyday, I could not imagine only using 2 gallons per day. This would be an extremely difficult change to adjust to. I would definitely use my water to drink as much as I would need to in order to survive. In addition, it would be very difficult to only use about 1 gallon to shower, but I would try to keep myself as clean as possible. It would not be very difficult for me to give up water when it comes to cooking because I do not use water while cooking very often. I could also give up using water for dishes and start using paper plates instead. I would use my water mainly for hydration and cleanliness. Geography is an extremely important factor when it comes to water supply because in some areas in the world there is a limited amount of water and people cannot live their everyday lives without worrying about how much water they use. I am very thankful that I live in an area with enough water to supply for my everyday needs.


Steven DeAngelis Water Usage Blog Post

1-a) My hometown of Farmingdale on Long Island is fortunate because our water is from local wells. All water provided for the district of South Farmingdale is groundwater that is pumped from 11 wells located throughput the community. These wells are drilled into the Magothy aquifer beneath Long Island. From well to home there is only one process that the water undergoes. The pH of the water is adjusted to reduce corrosive action between the water and water mains and in house plumbing systems. At the same location the water is also treated to remove iron, which does not affect health, but can discolor the water. The district also adds a small amount of chlorine as a disinfecting agent. Luckily the quality of the water on Long Island is usually graded great to excellent, so the water does not require much treatment.


1-b) According to the USGS website I used approximately 115 gallons of water the day that I kept track of my water intake. A 10 minute shower and running the dishwasher once accounted for most of my water use.


1-c) I tend to drink a lot of water throughout the day, so I would prioritize having enough water to consume if I were to use only 2 gallons of water for a day. Some strategies that definitely cut down my water use was taking a much shorter shower, I tried to shower in less than 2 minutes. I most definitely failed at the experiment of living on 2 gallons of water per day, mostly because water is constantly available. I consume roughly one gallon of water per day, and between cooking and showering I was already well above the 2 gallon threshold. Geography matters quite a bit when it comes to water consumption, because in the United States we have water almost constantly running in our homes, whether it’s toilets, showers, dishwashers, or swimming pools.

Jared Mummert – Water Usage

Part a) I live in a rural part of York, Pa, and our water comes from a well. York is *well* known for having large amounts of aquifers that contain groundwater. I just realized this while writing the blog, but about half of the school districts or towns in my  area have the word “spring” in their name; i.e. Admire Springs, Bermudian Springs, York Springs, Spring Grove, etc. This leads me to believe that there is no shortage of groundwater in my area. Our well depth is around 80-90 feet which is very shallow considering the average well depth in Pa is closer to 150 feet. The water from the aquifer is pumped up using a well pump, and then treated in our basement using UV light and a variety of filters. After being used, our waste-water enters our septic system. The high water table in our area forced us to install an elevated sand-mound type septic system. This helps ensure that the water is as clean as possible, and that sewage doesn’t leach into our well water.


Part b) For this part I measured the time that it took to fill a 2.5 gallon bucket or a 1 gallon jug, and then converted it to gallons per minute for my bathroom sink, kitchen sink, and shower. For the dishwaser, toilet, and laundry machine I read the gallons per use that was labeled on each device.

Shower: 1 shower * 7 mins * 4.1 gal/min = 28.7 gallons

Toilets: 5 flushes * 1.6 gal/flush = 8 gallons

Washing Hands: 7 hand washes * .5 mins * 1 gal/min = 3.5 gallons

Laundry: 1 load * 25 gal/load = 25 gallons

Dishwasher: 1 load * 5 gal/load = 5 gallons

Dishes by Hand: 3 washes *  mins/wash * 2 gal/min = 18 gallons

Brushing Teeth: 3 brushes = < 1 gallon

Drinking Water: < 1 gallon

TOTAL = 90.2 gallons!!!


Part C) As you can see, I used roughly 90 gallons of water in one day alone! If I were forced to live on 2 gallons of water for one day I would have to make some significant changes. I would start by cutting out the laundry and dishes, because these aren’t necessities. Just by not doing these two things for one day I would save nearly 48 gallons of water, and more than halve my daily water use! I would also have to load up on cologne, and not take a shower for the day because this is another huge use of water. The hardest thing to cut back on would be the toilet flushes (insert emoji with surgical mask). Just one flush alone would use up over three quarters of my daily two gallon limit! Essentially I would pretty much have to cut out everything other than drinking water and one toilet flush. I could use hand sanitizer in place of hand washing, and could hopefully get away with .4 gallons of drinking water. Of course this is all just a nice thought because on the day that I was going to attempt this I didn’t even make it past breakfast. I woke up and used the restroom and then washed my hands, and just like that I used up nearly all of my two gallons. I didn’t take a shower on this day, but I did drink about half a gallon of water, and the pile of dishes in the sink forced me to wash them. It was much harder than I had anticipated. I definitely cut back on my water use from part b), but I still wasn’t able to accomplish my goal. Geography definitely plays a huge part in water use. We are lucky to live in an area where water isn’t an overly scarce resource, but with the U.S. leading the country in water use  per capita it would certainly be a bad idea to cut back.




Water Usage

My hometown is in Williamsport, PA. I am from the very rural parts where most people have wells at their homes. At my home there is a man made well approximately 30 feet below the ground in my backyard. The well is basically a giant pipe under the ground that collects water. When it rains, the water seeps into the ground and runs into the well. Inside the well there is a pump that pumps the water into a holding tank in the basement of our home. The water is sent through a special filter that removes sand, dirt, and other kinds of sediment. The water is then dispersed through the house for use. After the water is used it goes down the drain and out through a pipe through a septic tank where solids like food and waste are collected and the water is sent back into the ground where it becomes naturally purified and eventually reused.

Water Usage Type Number of Times Daily Gallons of Water Used
Bath 1 36
Shower 1 50
Teeth Brushing 2 2
Hand/Face Washing 1 1
Dishwashing by hand 1 20
Toilet Flush 5 15
Glasses of Water 4 1
Water for Pets 2 3


Total Number of Gallons Used:  128


Limiting myself to two gallons of water was not successful at all. To be able to do this I would have to change my entire daily routine A LOT. As you can see going from 128 gallons to 2 gallons would require quite a few major changes. For my experiment, the only water I did not try to limit was that for my pets and drinking water.. for obvious health reasons. However for other categories I did try to make some changes to reduce. To try and save water I eliminated the bath and took an extremely quick 3 minute shower just once a day. Also for other uses such as brushing teeth I turned the water off when actually brushing. For toilet flushing, as gross as it may sound you can easily save several gallons of water by not flushing every single time the toilet is used ( I was not able to do this one as my roommates would not be happy.) Geography definitely plays a major part in water use as in some places you might be restricted in how much you can use. I am lucky enough to be in a part where this isn’t an issue, but it does make you think how much water you can save if everyone just sacrifices a little bit. This is where collective action comes into play. If we all just give up a little bit or even just try not wasting water we can conserve a lot!

Syed Amirul – Water Tracking & Usage

1a-My hometown of Seremban, Negeri Sembilan which is located south east of Peninsula Malaysia is managed by Negeri Sembilan Water Company (SAINS). Their main source of water comes from a large, unnamed water catchment area in Pantai District, just half-hour off the state’s capital. The watershed is feed from rain water and rivers from surrounding hills. These water are then channeled through aqueducts to Ngoi Ngoi and Terip River Water Treatment Facilities where there’s dams to control and contain the treatment process. From there, treated water are distributed to 350,000 households through storage tanks. Each districts have around 10-25 of these tanks and sum up to 100 tanks for the whole city. They also utilizes high-powered water pumps to to help with the distributions where gravitational system doesn’t work in certain areas. Finally, households such as my family are provided with clean, quality water via an underground main line that the city and municipal bodies had provided us with. The website of SAINS was pretty simple but I got some of the insights from Google Maps and connect the searches intuitively.


1b- For this activity I chose a Monday because that’s my busiest day and calculated an estimate for my water usage for the whole day. Here is my estimation table:

Activity Number of Times Water Used
Shower 15 minutes 30 gallons
Tooth brushing 2 2.5 gallons
Toilet Flush 3 15 gallons
Drinking 5 3 gallons
Cooking 2 3 gallons
Laundry 1 30 gallons
Dishwasher 1 6 gallons
Hand washing 5 5 gallons
  Total 94.5 gallons

1c- The next day I got myself 2 gallons of bottled water for the experiment. First thing in the morning, I took a glass of water for tooth brushing and I skipped shower so I still have plenty of water left. Halfway through the day I have emptied a gallon from going to the toilet and drinking alone. I tried cooking foods that doesn’t require much water but still that and washing the dishes took up a lot of my remaining water. By around 8 p.m., I’ve finished all of 2 gallons of my water. Most of my usage are for drinking and personal hygiene. During the experiment when I had to control every single usage of water, I start to think about the times when I didn’t have to think and realized how much water I’ve wasted before. From the experience, I know take extra attention to reducing my usage by turning off the faucet while brushing my teeth or in between rinsing my dishes. Even though I did not succeed to last a whole day with only two gallons of water, I know have a deeper appreciation towards water, which I have taken for granted my whole life.

Geography certainly plays a vital role on water usage. It takes a lot of human involvement to alter the environment to provide us with the necessary clean water. From reading other blog posts from different geographical backgrounds, it’s prominent that almost everyone with decent water usage comes from highly populated area with proactive governments.

Module 4

In my hometown, Waynesboro, PA, our water comes from a surface water supply coming from the East Branch of the Antietam Creek, which is known as the Antietam Watershed. The water is then treated at the Waynesboro Water Filtration Plant. Waynesboro also uses a groundwater source that supplements the surface water supply. The groundwater source is filtered by a membrane before going into the distribution system, before it gets to your tap. After you’ve used it and water goes down the drain it goes through the sewer to the Waynesboro Wastewater Treatment Plant to be cleaned for it to travel on its way to its next destination.

According to the USGS site, I use approximately 168.36 gallons a day.

5 flushes = 15 gallons

1 20 minute shower= 40 gallons

2 teeth brushings = .5 gallons

1 face washing = 1 gallon

6 hand washings = 2 gallons

1 dishwashing by hand = 10 gallons

1 load of laundry = 25 gallons

6 glasses of water = .5 gallons

To make an attempt to use only 2 gallons of water a day I had to cut out taking a shower; normally I take a shower every day for roughly 20 minutes. According to the USGS just one minute in the shower uses 2 gallons of water so I made showering not a priority for this experiment. I definitely needed water for cooking and drinking, as well as for watering my two cats. I drink 6 glasses of water myself each day and give my cats about 2 glasses in a bowl. Another thing I cut out was washing the dishes for a day because normally that takes 8 gallons of water. I flushed a couple times during the day which ultimately pushed me over my 2 gallon limit. My experiment failed. I think if it didn’t take so much water to flush the toilet I could have survived on 2 gallons of water for the day, but it would just be made up for the next day because of the dishes piling up waiting to be washed and the need for a shower. I never realized how much water I used every day until this experiment and I could hardly imagine living on only two gallons for one day. In part 1b the USGS calculator estimated my usage at about 168.36 gallons a day! That’s almost 90 times more than what the people in Haiti and Mozambique use. Geography is very important to water use, where I live in PA there isn’t a shortage of water so I guess I kind of take it for granted. Some places even in the US have to take it easy on there water usage, like California during droughts.

water tracking & usage

1a. My lake house in located in Uniondale, PA. There all the houses operate on their own well water system. The way a well water system works is the well is located 60 feet under the ground outside of our house. The water is pumped out of the ground automatically using a jet pump that sits on top of the ground and draws water out of the ground to create water pressure for the hose. The well at my house has a storage tank that stores the water before is it pumped again into the house, but not all wells have a storage tank. When the water goes through the drains and is disposed, it goes into a sewage tank that in located in my back yard underground. It then leaves the sewage tank and goes to a sewage treatment plant where the water is purified and filtered. After being filtered, it is then released into the Lackawanna River which eventually leads into the Susquehanna River.


Activities Amount of water used
10 minutes shower (once) 50 gallons
Toilet flushes (six times) 6 gallons
Water I drank (64 oz) ½ gallon
Teeth brushing (two times) 2 gallons
Face washing/hand washing (two times) 2 gallon
Washing dished by hand (once) 13 gallons

Total= 73.5 gallons of water on February 5, 2016

1c. I attempted to live on two gallons of water on February 7. I decided my two priories for the water usage would be for hygiene and drinking. On that day, I skipped my shower and decided to wear a hat all day. I did wash my face and brush my teeth, both which I did quickly. I had two glasses of water throughout the day, and by the end of the day I had a horrible head ache from not drink enough water. Also to cut back on water I make sure all the cooking I did did not require water. I had cereal for breakfast, a sandwich for lunch, and eggs for dinner. At the end of the day I did not wash the dishes to try and save water. When I would use the bathroom I did not flush until the end of the day. At the end of the day I realized that I had failed at this experiment. As you can see in my 1b graph, I use a lot of water throughout the day, and although I tried everything I could to cut back on my water usage I was unable to only use two gallons of water. I realized that after this experiment I take the water I use for granted. Some people around the world can only use water for survival (food and water). They do not have the resources to use clean water. Geography is a key concept for where our water comes from and how we use it on a day to day basis everyday and from realizing that I hope to be more aware of the water I am wasting in the future.


My water supply

I am from a town called Lakewood, PA located in northern Wayne County on the New York border of Hancock, NY. As one may assume, the town is in fact called Lakewood because of the number of lakes and ponds in the area. With that said, there are not very many houses close enough together to justify a public water supply. All houses that I am aware of in this area all have their own well systems. Our house specifically gets water from a personal well system. The well is dug into the ground reaching the water table where a pump sits to send water into the pressurized tanks in the basement. From there the water is send to the faucets on demand. Considering the location, the septic system is also a stand-alone meaning our house is the only one using this system. The water from all drains converge into a holding tank under ground away from the house. From there the solids are separated from the waste water and moved for decomposition where the water is spread over a drain field for the ground to naturally soak up the water.

Daily water usage
Shower 20 gallons
Teeth brushing .5 gallons
Hands/face wash .5 gallons
Dishwashing (hand) 5 gallons
Laundry 30 gallons
Toilet flush 5 gallons
Drinking 1.5 gallons
Total 67.5 Gallons


Basically the same activities and areas of water usage applied in this experiment. The major difference was the priorities. For example, Showers would have to be limited to a quick rinse with a towel changing the water maybe every other day. Teeth brushing could be factored into a gallon or so for drinking water if only a little is used to rinse. Laundry and dish washing, same as showers, a tub where the water is changed once, maybe twice a week. Or if available a river or lake. The toilet flushing could be eliminated if there is access to a proper out house and lastly, the remainder water used for drinking. Drinking water would be the main priority where any access could be used for cleaning and/or bathing. Compared to how I usually use water, there would be no way I could maintain the same life style with such little water. It is very interesting to actually see how much water I use and definitely something I have taken for granted. Geography plays a part in water regulation considering the source has to be available such as rivers, lakes, ponds, or springs. In addition to having the water available, there also has to be a means to access it if that source is underground.

Module 4 Water Usage: Shanda Snyder

Part 1-A

Hello. My name is Shanda Snyder, and I grew up in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. In terms of water, my home gets water from the services of the Pennsylvania Water & Sewage Authority.  Currently, 70 million gallons of water are treated each day at our drinking water treatment plant. The PWSA gets its water from Allegheny River, with no ground or well water being used. The water goes through a series of treatments which take a full 3 days to complete. The first stage is called the “Clarification” Stage. During this stage, land particles like clay and slit are removed. Then, an addition of treatments are added to make the rest of the “bad stuff” sink. During this phase, they also carbon is also added to the water to improve the taste. Secondly, the next stage is the “Filtration” Process. This process involves the water moving rather slowly through a combination of filters like coal, sand, and gravel to remove the rest of the particles and unwanted microorganisms. The last step in the treatment process is the “Disinfection” stage. This last stage is crucial, involving the use of chlorine to remove any harmful bacteria and microorganisms. Then, more chemicals are added in order to finish the treatment. The pH of the water and fluoride are adjusted.  From there, the water is then clean enough to go through the pipes in the comfort of my own home.

Part 1-B

From both of the water consumption websites, it looks like I use around 209.3 gallons per day, on average.

ShandaSnyder water usage ShandaSnyder water usage2

Part 1-C

Based on the data, it looks like the majority of my water use is due to my lengthy showers. Because I am also a dancer, I usually shower after practice. Not only do I get clean, but it helps my muscles out. From 209 gallons to only 2 gallons in one day?! I was nervous. But, I chose Monday, February 8, 2016 to cut down on my water. I knew I was going to have to make major adjustments, so I prioritized hygiene/personal maintenance and cooking. I took a really quick 4 minute shower in the morning, turned the water off before I brushed my teeth, didn’t brush my teeth at night, made dinner and let the dishes pile up, and I also tried to not flush the toilet as much. I hate doing that, it really freaks me out, but I knew that that was a significant way to cut down on my water usage. I also washed my hands really fast, and used hand sanitizer as well. Despite cutting down on everything, I still went over the 2 gallon limit by a significant amount. It was a complete fail, and I admire anyone who was able to complete the task! This type of experience just shows that I do not think about my overconsumption of water as much as I should. I really do take advantage of just showering because I’m bored or running the dishwasher when it isn’t all the way full. I think geography ties to water usage because generally on the East Coast, we aren’t told much about water usage. On the West Coast, you are told about water usage a lot and encouraged to monitor it due to the weather and severe drought that can occur. Geographically, in places that are near a lot of water, I would imagine more would be used only because it is easier to get to.


Module 4: Katie Greiner

My hometown is a small suburb outside of Philadelphia called Harleysville, PA. In my hometown, my family gets our water from the North Penn Water Authority (NPWA). The water that supplies my house comes from the Deleware River, to the North Branch Neshamity Creek, and into Lake Galena. The water is then taken from Lake Galena and then processed in the Forest Park Water Treatment Plant located in Chalfont, PA. From the Forest Park Water Treatment Plant, the processed water moves into large distribution mains. The water is stored inside of the mains in order to help make sure that there is a constant water supply. From these distribution mains, the water then flows through miles of NPWA water main till it reaches a curb stop. After the curb stop, the water is then transported to a basement cutaway where the water is stored as needed. At the water service connection is where the water gets to my tap at home.

Water Consumption Tracker

  • Teeth Brushing = 3
  • Hand/Face Washing = 2
  • Leg shaving = 1
  • Shower = 1
    • Length = 20 minutes
  • Toilet flushes = 7
  • Water drank (8 oz) = 6 glasses
  • Dishwasher loads = 1
  • Dishwashing by hand = 2
  • Clothes washing = 1

ESTIMATED AMOUNT = 207.36 gallons per day

For the experiment, I wanted to prioritize my use of water for cooking, drinking, and hygiene. I also knew that I would have to use water for toileting and washing dishes, but I tried my best to conserve as much as I could. I used a few strategies to cut down on my water usage, but the first one I started with was toileting. I decided that for the purpose of this experiment, that “if it’s yellow, it’s mellow” would have to be my policy for the day. My roommate was not particularly happy about that, but I knew toileting was one of my biggest wastes of water throughout the day. Another strategy that I used to cut back on water was that I used a drain stopper while I was hand washing dishes. This definitely cut back on my water usage since I usually just let the water run when I’m only cleaning a few dishes. The strategy that I used for showering was that I wanted to cut my showering time at least in half, if not more. The final strategy that I used was using face wipes instead of running water for washing my face in the morning. While showering, I decided not to wash my hair in order to conserve water. I failed miserably at only using 2 gallons of water in one day. I by far used way more than two gallons, but I went from using over 200 gallons to about 50.36 gallons of water in one day. I personally feel that by cutting my water usage by nearly 150 gallons is still something to be proud of, even though it was much higher than 2 gallons. Growing up in America for my entire life I can definitely say that I am spoiled with the amount of water I consume daily. When I went abroad to China for a few weeks, I was able to truly appreciate the water that we have in the United States. It was a huge adjustment to using a toilet that was pretty much a hole in the ground and having to boil my drinking water. This experiment, plus my experiences overseas has really helped me to appreciate where I grew up and how truly blessed I am.

Module 4 – Dylan Hellings

There are several different ways water can reach towns in different locations and there can be many challenges and reasons behind choosing a certain method in a town’s water supply chain. There are two water companies in my town – being Aqua PA and PA American Water. In my town, the initial source is the Susquehanna River. It is run through water treatment plants before reaching the tab. In the water treatment plant it goes through five treatment steps. These steps being coagulation, sedimentation, filtration, disinfection, and storage. Coagulation removes dirt particles from the water, sedimentation allows the dirt to settle to the bottom so the water becomes cleaner, filtration is where water passes through filters to purify it further, disinfection kills the germs. The water is then sent to reserve for storage. Pipes underground connect the reserve to homes around the town so water can be pumped to the taps. The waste is then expelled to the Joint Sewer Authority that branches between my town and the handful of towns surrounding me.

Shower – 30 minutes – 60 gallons
Brushing Teeth – 2 times – 1.5 gallons
Toilet – 3 times – 4.8 gallons
Washing Hands – 5 times – 4 gallons
Drinking – 10 glasses – 0.625 gallons
Total – 73.925 gallons of water

Using 2 gallons of water a day was not easy, I will admit that I did go slightly over 2 gallons (assuming my math at that point was still correct) at around 11pm when I got really thirsty and had to have some water. I was trying to think of another drink I could have that didn’t have water in it but practically every consumable liquid accessible to me had some amount of water in it – lemonade, iced tea, etc. As someone that takes long showers, approximately 30 minutes on average, my shower covered over 80% of my daily water use. That being said I did not do laundry or dishes the day of my initial “study”. In order to reduce this amount of water use greatly, I did not shower the day of my experiment. Gladly I was sick in bed that day and didn’t do anything but sleep, watch Netflix, and do homework, so I didn’t sweat or smell. The second highest use of water in my day is flushing the toilet. I wasn’t going to not go to the bathroom or make someone else flush for me so I assumed that if I was in Haiti I wouldn’t have a problem going in a hole in the ground without water… Next in order of water use, I washed my hands twice and very quickly not using very much water. As far as drinking water, I limited to only 2 glasses of water until the aforementioned 11pm ‘cheat.’  Lastly, while brushing my teeth I only used water to briefly wet the toothbrush then later wash out the sink. It was tough living on 2 gallons of water and that is with a few ‘cheats’ I’ve mentioned. I would be stretching the truth to say that it was a complete success but I would not consider it an utter failure. While geography has historically been hugely important for a civilization to thrive, modernization and globalization have allowed for infrastructure and technologies to more efficiently store and transfer water from place to place. It is much cheaper for a town laying next to a river to have access to water than a town in the mid-west without a body of water for miles and miles. This difficulty is exaggerated greatly in locations like Haiti that do not have the technology, infrastructure, and funds that we in the United States have access to.


Water Consumption: Module 4 Johnna Puhr

Part 1-a: I live in Pittsburgh, Pa which is a big city. The Pittsburgh Water and Sewer Authority currently serves 113,000 sewage connections and 83,000 drinking water connections. The water treatment plant produces 70 million gallons of water per day. The PWSA also has four booster pumping stations which helps the water get to the houses. Pittsburgh draws its water from the Allegheny River, no ground water or well water is used. The treatment process for this water take three days. The first stage of the water treatment process is clarification. In this process silts and clays are removed from the water. This stage also involves the treatment of chemicals, which create clumps. These clumps are then removed from gravity sedimentation. The next stage the water is filtered. It slowly passes through coal, sand, and gravel filters in order to remove microorganisms. The last stage is disinfection where the water is treated with chlorine to remove any other microorganisms. Then the water is pumped from the treatment facility to homes. After the water is used in our homes it flows through pipes to Robinson treatment facility. It is then treated and dumped back into the river. From here the process repeats itself.


Part 1-b:

Activities Number of times Water Used Total
Brushing Teeth 3 1 gallon 3 gallons
Showering 2 75 gallons 150 gallons
Washing dishes 15 Minutes 2 gallons per minute 30 gallons
Work refilled water 2 times 1 gallon 2 gallons
Drinking / Cooking 16 glasses 1 cup 16 cups
Bathroom 10 1.6 gallons 16 gallons
Washing Hands 14 1 gallon 14 gallons
Total 216 Gallons


Part 1-c:

I realized that I used a lot of water a day. The top priorities for me would be eating and drinking. I don’t use a lot of water for cooking, so most of it would go to drinking and the rest hygiene. The average body needs about half a gallon of water a day. I would use a sink full of water and washcloth to bath. I failed at this experiment. I reduced my use down to around 100 gallons. The only way I could make 2 gallons work is if I was forced to. Although, I do have a lot of bad habits that if I fix could cut back on my water consumption. For example, cutting back on my shower time could save a substantial amount of water. Geography matters in water use because it dictates the amount of water the population has access to. For example, developing countries have little access and technology, so they don’t use as much water as developed countries. Also, geography has a big impact on the way the water is transported, if it can flow by gravity or if it needs to be pumped.



Tom Devenney Module 4

Part 1-a:

My hometown is Lititz, Pennsylvania. I live in the Lititz Borough, which is one of many boroughs and townships that make up our school district area. The Lititz Borough has several wells throughout our area, and the locations of these wells were not revealed to me. The well water from each of these sources is sent to the Lititz Water Treatment Plant. From there, water travels through a series of pipes that converge under the Lititz Springs Park. The water is then sent through pipes in different directions to households and places of work in the Lititz Borough. Water that goes down the drain is sent through sewer pipes to the Lititz Wastewater Treatment Plant. Unfortunately, information from that point forward would not be revealed to me; however, through my own research, the wastewater is sent into the Lititz Run, a stream in my borough that leads into the Chesapeake Bay, where the wastewater ends up.

Part 1-b:

Teeth brushing: .25 gallons

Water bottle in the morning: 16.9 fl oz (1.05 pints)

3 water bottles during/after morning workout: 50.7 fl oz (3.15 pints)

Post-workout shower: 10 gallons

Small cup of coffee: 6 fl oz (.373 pints)

3 Toilet flushes: 9 gallons

3 hand washes: 3 gallons

2 bottles of water during the day: 33.8 fl oz (2.10 pints)

Dishwashing by hand: 2 gallons

Bottle of water: 16.9 fl oz (1.05 pints)

Teeth Brushing: .25 gallons

Total: 25.47 gallons

Part 1-c:

Major areas of water use in the experiment for me were drinking water and restroom use. I chose a day in which I did not have to attend classes or try to impress anyone so I would not have to shower or shave. This left my main priorities to drinking, using the bathroom, and washing hands. I limited myself to not wetting my toothbrush before using it, and very quickly rinsing it afterwards. I also would take a sip of water to quench my thirst from time to time. Toilet flushing was the trickiest obstacle in this situation, so I was a slave to however much water flushed the toilet. Even my best attempt at this was a failure due to how much I rely on water on a regular day. Compared to part 1-b, I used much less water than I would on a normal day, which makes me seriously consider how much I need to do all of the things I normally do. Geography scopes the availability of water, essentially. Water is a natural resource more readily available in some parts of the world than others, which really shows how water usage is a collective action issue.

Module 4-Individual and collective action

1a) Prior to coming up to state college I resided in good old Bucks County, PA. More specifically I lived in Doylestown Pennsylvania. At my house I have a source of water that comes form the township itself rather than from a well. This water originates from the water and sewage treatment facility owned by Borough Water Department. The water from facilities of these which can be found in New Britain, Buckingham, Doylestown, Warrington and Plumstead all provide water for homes though a rather complex system of pipes. Following the daily use of water by a majority of the newer houses in these boroughs, the water is then drained into a sewer system. This sewer system is owned, regulated and controlled by Bucks County Water and Sewer Company (BCWSA). Once the water reaches its “final” destination at the sewage treatment center it is then purified and a majority is reused thus encouraging and taking a part in the movement for more sustainability. In theses townships and residing neighborhoods the water and sewage are both billed separately based off of the amount used.

1b) Calculated results

1c)Screen Shot 2016-02-10 at 8.29.34 PMIf I were to live in an area where the daily use of water is restricted to 2 gallons of water I would have to change my lifestyle tremendously. I would have to lower water usage for all things like cooking, drinking, showering, bathroom use and maybe even cut things out like dishwasher and washing machine use. I would do this by cooking meals that needed little amounts of water and then take a quick shower and finally drink what whatever was left. I would use plastic and paper plates and utensils so that I didn’t have to wash them. I would also use a shower with a smaller water flow so that less water is wasted in a quicker amount of time. Based off of this experiment and he amount of water that my family uses per day me and my family would all definitely fail. Our Usage is almost 100 times more than two gallons and I also just believe that we have too big of a family to survive off of that. Lastly geography matters to water usage because of places like developing countries who are limited to clean drinking water. Unlike where I am from they do not have a constant supply of large amounts of water.

Water and Its Overconsumption

Part 1-a: Water in Shepherdstown, WV is taken from the Potomac River that drains into an area of 3,000,000 acres above the treatment plant intake. The water treatment plant pulls the water from the river. Here, the water runs through multi- media filters to make it ready for people to use. The water then flows to two elevated storage tanks. The tanks are 30.5’ in diameter and 89.5′ in height. PVC water lines that intersect with other water lines connected to the storage tanks carry the water to individual houses. The water lines range from .75” to 12”. There are also two reservoirs that hold water to release in times when the river is low. The water that runs through other areas before it reaches the Shepherdstown plant, which can sometimes cause water contamination from agricultural runoff or untreated sewage discharge. This service only provides water to 1,500 customers as Shepherdstown is a very small town. Once water is used, it is rerouted through other water line pipes back to the treatment plant.

Part 1-b: One days use of water

One shower, fifteen minutes: 75 gallons

Brush teeth twice: <1 gallon

Used one water bottle: 8 oz.

Used toilet three times: 3 gallons

Washed hands four times: 1 gallon

Washed dishes one time: 27 gallons

Total daily usage: Approximately 106 gallons

Part 1-c:

Attempting to live on two gallons of water for a day would only make it difficult for the purpose of taking a shower because showers use up to five gallons of water for only one minute. I would find a freshwater stream to bathe in and wash my hands. I would also go to the bathroom outside. To cut down on water I looked at what my main priorities would be for using the water. My main priorities for using the water would be to use it when I was brushing my teeth or needed a drink, as I would want the cleanest water going into my body. It would be easy to cut down my water footprint because of other resources I could use instead from the environment. Using water is only a main necessity when it comes to hydrating our bodies, so if I couldn’t use it for other things I would be fine with that, and the experiment would succeed. This experiment is very different from the life I live now because one day of my normal water use would last me 53 days if I could only use 2 gallons a day. Geography matters in every aspect of water use because it effects the availability of water everyone can use.The amount of water you take from the environment will also impact how much everyone else can use.