Article by Environmental Management, Directorate of Public Works, Fort Bragg
Imagine your day’s routine. Did you shower? Shave? Brush your teeth? Prepare a meal? Consume electricity? Perhaps, you washed your vehicle, enjoyed a cool dip in a swimming pool or savored a refreshing glass of iced tea on this hot, summer day.
If you engaged in any of these activities, you either directly or indirectly used nature’s most precious resource: water.
Water is essential for life. We use water to hydrate, to prepare our meals and to maintain our bodies. Water is the basis for many of the industrial and agricultural processes that produce our food, products and services. Water is an integral source of energy and a necessary element of power generation. Water is vital for transportation and recreation.
Just as water is essential for life, water is essential for the military mission as well. Every day, the Fort Bragg community consumes an average of four million gallons of water for human consumption, construction, field applications, military operations and quality of life activities.
But, water is a finite resource. Only one percent of the Earth’s water is available for human use. Of the remaining water on Earth, two percent is frozen in the forms of glaciers and ice caps, and 97 percent is salt water. All of the water that we will ever have is on Earth now. We cannot manufacture water in a factory. And, our water supplies are threatened due to pollution, climate change and increased demand throughout the world.
The use of water carries fiscal implications as well. If you receive a water bill at your home, you know that water is not a free resource. The cost for water for Fort Bragg is an average of $2.4 million annually.
Furthermore, the treatment of water to consumption standards is an energy intensive and therefore cost intensive process. And, the infrastructure used to provide our municipal water requires maintenance. Thus, it requires fiscal, human and natural resources.
How can you save our water supplies and our money? Conserve as much as possible!
– Shorten each shower by two minutes to save up to 150 gallons of water every month.
– Turn off the water while you brush your teeth to save up to 25 gallons of water every month.
– Turn off the water while you shave to save up to 300 gallons of water every month.
– Where possible, install water efficient devices such as low flow shower heads, faucets and toilets. On average, a water efficient shower head can save 12,000 gallons of water every year while a water efficient toilet can save 24,000 gallons of water every year.
– Wash only full loads of dishes and laundry. If you must wash less than a full load of laundry, adjust the water level in the machine to correspond to the amount of laundry.
– When purchasing appliances, choose water efficient models.
– Irrigate your lawn and garden only when necessary in accordance with the Fort Bragg Water Conservation Policy, Corvias Military Living policies and community irrigation policies. On Fort Bragg, the Water Conservation Policy prescribes an odd-even watering schedule for military facilities. Buildings with numbers ending in odd numerals should irrigate only on Sundays, Tuesdays and Thursdays while buildings with numbers ending in even numerals should irrigate only on Saturdays, Mondays and Wednesdays. Irrigation should be limited to 40 minutes at each location and should be conducted between the hours of 7 AM to 10 AM and 6 PM to 9 PM.
– Choose native plants for your landscape. Native plants are suited to the often hot and arid climate of the Sandhills, so they are usually drought tolerant and require less maintenance.
– Collect rain water in containers and use it to irrigate plants.
– Use a broom instead of a hose to clean hardscapes.
– If you have a pool, install a cover to prevent water evaporation.
– Practice pollution prevention by properly containing litter and waste, especially cigarette remnants. Remember: only rain in the storm drain!
– Avoid the use of chemicals. If you must use chemicals, use them wisely.
– Monitor your utility bill for unusually excessive water consumption, which may indicate a leak.
– Promptly report or repair leaks. In military facilities, contact the Directorate of Public Works at 396.0321 to place a service order. In post housing, contact Corvias Military Living.