Is There a Water Shortage?

Updated on March 29, 2012
J.M. asks from Doylestown, PA
21 answers

OK this is my dumb blonde moment, lacking the blonde, but its in my genetics! I posted a question on washing my face and said I shower a lot and people said its bad to use that much water. Are we currently having some massive water shortage I am unaware of? I don't have tv J. netflix and don't read the paper so I may be completely unaware but why are people saying they'd feel bad to use water or shower more than once? That it's bad for our enviorment? I also want to make people aware I am conserving water by refusing to do my wash to make up for my showers=) Unless there is some huge crisis in the US I don't get it. There are plenty worse things I'd rather see stopped than extra water usage. I know in other countries thereis this issue but I was unaware we had a shortage here.
Another blonde question---does it matter that I have well water- can I use that as my argument for not wasting the US water resources? Although I;d still be a water hog even if I used public water...but for now is that a valid argument?
I also agree with the comment below-part of the reason i shower more than once is because of back pain, and I'd rather not be on pain killers and use more water
So enlighten M. mamapedia women/men=)

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So What Happened?

Mama L while I appreciate that I don't think my lack of water usage would help you're sittuation since I use well water and also we're not ocal to eachother. If you're going on energy I would think there are a lot of things that take more energy than showering that I would probably be doing if not showering

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answers from Erie on

Not where I live, nor will there ever be :D Fresh water as far as the eye can see right down the long as no evil genius poisons it or something.

However, in the western part of the country they rely on aquifers, which are rapidly drying up. I wouldn't want THAT water bill, no way.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Columbia on

I would take into consideration that answers (and questions) come from all over the US. So PA - probably not. AZ - maybe.

Also, much like parenting - us tree huggers vary widely on how far we commit to "think globally, act locally".

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answers from San Francisco on

Regardless of there being a shortage or not where you are, why overuse when you don't need to?

In parts of Florida and California things are so bad that you are fined if you water your lawn more than twice a week or on days that aren't assigned to your neighborhood.

And your well water comes from somewhere, probably piped in from a resovoir where it has been filtered and cleaned. You don't really have a gigantic well in your yard filling up with every rain storm, do you? If you did, I'd sure as heck watch how much I used because what if it doesn't rain? What will fill your well?

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answers from Roanoke on

Yes, there is a shortage; demand is greater than supply, even in the US (the Southwest especially). You see, Americans are the world's biggest water consumers (and of many, many other things). Part of the problem is that many people think, "well, it's not happening NOW to M., so I'm not worried." But that's the kind of mentality that gets us in trouble later. There are increasing temps, more droughts, and higher populations that contribute. And J. because most of the globe is covered with water doesn't mean it's all usable. Clean fresh water is a limited resource.

I'm not saying I'm perfect. I do shower every day, and I use water to do the things I need to do. But I'm also conscious of it and reduce where possible. I don't like to be frivolous with the things I have, even basics like water, because there are so many people on this earth who can't enjoy ONE shower a day, or week; let alone 2 or 3 a day. Why overuse J. because you can? JMO.

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answers from Seattle on

Ha... we're not only a water SOURCE for a good 1/3 of the country.. but we also subsidize the freakin' COST for a ridiculous number of people. There was almost a water shortage last year, but then the snow started dumping in the mountains, and our snowpack built up, and things were fine again.

Seriously. An $800 water bill in the summer (only $400 of use, but we get charged double in the summer) cripples us, but since other areas have lower/normal cost of living and can't afford the cost of the water we're shipping to them, we're paying for it up here. :P

I've lived in deserts, even lived in socal during the 7 year drought. I conserve water in deserts. I don't conserve water up here in 'rains 200-300 days a year' land. Of course I don't water my lawn, have a pool, even have a need to wash my car (see previous rain comment) more than once or twice a year. All we do with water is bathe ourselves, clothes, and dishes. And that's $800 in the summer, and $400 in winter.

I shower 2x-3x per day. It uses less water than the single bath my son takes.

I mean... anyone who waters their lawn in a desert and wants to gripe at M. about my showers can sit and spin. Or better yet, can march up here and pay my water bill.

6 moms found this helpful


answers from Salinas on

California has had water shortages my enitre life. We are always careful about not using too much. It doesn't matter where you live or where you get your fresh water you should always be thoughtful about how much you use.
It is an essential resource of which there is a finite amount available. As populations grow, pollute and demand more water it will become increasingly scarce.
J. be thoughtful about how much you use, even if it's from your well. As others have noted your own well is not going to supply fresh water forever, it isn't magic. Who else takes water from it and from surrounding wells, how deep it is, how easily it could become polluted and how large the supply of groundwater is that feeds it are all factors that will determine how long it will provide fresh water.
Even a blonde can figure out that nothing lasts forever, right?

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answers from Richmond on

NOT HERE THERE'S NOT, the James River is J. at flood stage right now!

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answers from Spokane on

Shower with your boyfriend for at least one of those showers and you'll be conserving some water! :)

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answers from Houston on

We have water shortages all the time here, even to the point of neighborhood restrictions on when to water our lawns. And it raises the cost and availability of crops/cotton and such as farms rely on irrigation during droughts... which happens all the time. Plus, water is a limited resource. It also takes energy to run the water plants, and we have energy crisis a lot too, which we have to deal with by way of rolling blackouts and the like. It even saves energy to do things such as laundry, running the dishwasher and such at night where the water/energy usage isn't used as much.

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answers from Philadelphia on

You're in Philly so I'm not sure but not as bad as Cali if there is one. The point is to conserve water because each city has it's own system to clean and distribute water and it can only do much at a time. If everyone is using a ton of water daily the system won't be able to keep up and there will be a shortage of clean water. So it's always been recommended to conserve water the best you can. Take shorter showers, daily is fine. Turn off the water when brushing your teeth and washing your hands and such. Wash clothes in shorter cycles and always with a full load, same with a dishwasher. There's lots of tips online. Water your grass only as needed and in the evening.

K. B
mom to 5 including triplets

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answers from Washington DC on

depends upon where you live.

the government is doing some crazy stuff with water management....I won't go there. But in reality - the government and EPA are trying to "regulate" water...nice, eh?

I'm sorry - I don't get what washing your makeup has to do with showers and water conservation.

If you are on well-water - it can run out one day. If you haven't had a lot of rain or snow this winter - it's quite possible that you might be facing a water shortage - who knows?! I don't know how deep your well is.

I'd rather take pain killers than waste water. especially for showers. why not use an ice pack or even a heating pad instead of water? Oh well. whatever you're going to do what ever you want to do anyway.

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answers from St. Louis on

I think it depends on where you live. Here it goes down the drain and back to the water treatment plant a couple miles away. Other than the cost which is rapidly becoming cheaper than my sewer bill I think using water is good.

I wonder how many people who ripped you have a pool or let their kids play with sprinklers during the summer.....

God I am glad I live between three rivers, granted we get floods, by we I mean other people in the area, but at least I don't have to worry about my water usage. Yikes!

Granted I have never studied the water cycle in depth but it may be finite but it is also renewable. That is why we have water treatment plants, ya know? I don't actually water my lawn, it seems pointless when it is a hundred out and the grass only goes dormant anyway. If I watered my lawn any run off goes into the sewers and back to the water treatment plant I already spoke of, the rest eventually evaporates creating clouds and then rain, or is absorbed by the plants who release oxygen again helping with that rain stuff... We drink it we pee it, down the drain lather rinse repeat......

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answers from Denver on

There is an impending worldwide shortage of CLEAN water. It is effecting people in the developing world. It will be some time before we feel anything in the US and maybe technology will have solved the problem before that happens.
But - water that returns to the water table/aquifer/etc. is not "used up", so your home usage is likely fine.
But - general consciousness not to *waste* water is never a bad thing

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answers from Lakeland on

I am unaware of any water shortages in your area and I have family near you. I think there is still a shortage in TX and parts around there.

Since you have a well the only person that would be hurt by you using too much is yourself if your well should go dry. (And for everyone out there you cannot J. come and fill it back up). We had to have our well re-drilled when we lived in PA and it cost about $20,000, after the excavation and drilling. I do miss well water, the public water here in Florida is so awful.

Now according to my hubby there is always the same amount of water here on the earth, it does not evaporate into space it J. goes to other places. Also you use much less water taking a shower then taking a bath. If your muscles are still hurting try some arnica cream (or gel, oil), you can find it in any health food store.

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answers from Honolulu on

It is regional.

Water is finite, in some areas.
It is a finite, resource.

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answers from Dallas on

Well I know our lakes in TX are still low but that does not keep M. from taking as many showers as I wish to. I have issues with my lower back and choose not to live on pain killers there for I will stand in the shower sometimes for 15 mins at least if the hot water will stay hot. And don't really care what anyone thinks. You have to do what you have to do.

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answers from Fargo on

There is no water shortage where I live. I am more concerned with preserving water's quality because water is actually a renewable resource.

*to clarify, I don't over use water even though there is not a shortage. How long are your showers? I have a giant spa tub that is not very eco friendly. I rarely use it because I think it would take the equivalent of 6 showers to fill it to the top, which many people do without thought. So, in comparison, your daily showers probably don't effect water supply as much as regular bath takers.

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answers from Dallas on

We are still on level 3 restriction here in Plano/Allen (burb of Dallas). We have set times that we can water and the water police love giving out $2000 fines.

My water bill in August was $650 and my water bill in Sept was $725 They have standard fee for up to so many gallons then price goes up, the up then up every time you hit a specific level.

We can only water 2 days a month now. So far I have not been restricted on using my dishwasher daily and running laundry at least twice daily.

There is some deal where we can't get water from Texoma because of zebra mussells which supposedly cause damage.

I don't know of any shortages anywhere else. It still gets M.... we had 5" of rain and have had an abundance of rain, the lake levels are back up and we are still on restriction.

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answers from Philadelphia on

I do understand the hot water for pain. I mentioned to my dr that hot baths worked better than pain meds and heating pad. He said that it is true, hot water works better. I forget why.

I dont know of a shortage and i am not to far from Philadelphia. For now i take my baths to soothe the pain. You have to do what you feel is right. I know that back pain can be horrible :(



answers from Augusta on

here there isn't.
How much showering are we talking about? More than once a day?
I don't think anyone needs more than one shower a day unless you get really dirty.Even then you could hold off showering the first time till after you did what ever it is that got you dirty.
You can do other things for back pain other than showering , get a sock fill it with rice and microwave it for 30-45 sec and there's your heat for your back. Or get a heating pad. We do try to conserve water because of a time when there is a water shortage.
I see you are up north , and up north (my in laws are in northern Maryland) they haven't had as much rain as we have so in your area there might be a shortage. And even well water must be replenished with rain water.



answers from Pittsburgh on

Hmmm...well, the way I look at it, we need to be responsible with the resources we have. So...while taking a 50 minute shower twice per day might be "excessive", I don't think taking a shower every day is.

I grew up with well water. Two aspects of concern: quality and supply.
Once housing developments started sprouting up nearby, our water table diminished very quickly. Also, installation of many, many septic systems eventually led to ground water contamination. So--if your water is plentiful AND of good quality, consider yourself lucky! But it might not last forever. Again--I think J. being a good steward of your resources applies to well water.

Sadly, the reason the EPA needs to monitor and "regulate" WATER, as a resource is because unscrupulous corporations have no problem with contributing to the overall toxicity of our water, all in the name of the almighty dollar (profit). I think we've seen, that left to their own "moral" code, we J. can't trust business to "police" themselves and do the right thing. Sad, huh?

That's also why we can't dump our old car oil down a storm sewer or put paint, chemicals, etc in the regular garbage.

Fracking is a major concern when it comes to clean water AND air. And guess what? The oil industry is "exempt" from adhering to the clean air guidelines as all other businesses. Scary, huh?

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