skunk creek flooding

world water day

world water day is one of my favorite days. i believe it is always good to reflect on our own water use and access. i’ve written about access to clean water before. this year, i want to share what my water use looks like in the us.

last week, sioux falls had record flooding. skunk creek, right across the street from my parents’ house, hit a record crest of 17.8 feet. and we are forecast to get even more flooding this next week.

flooding aftermath skunk creek at dunham park

because of the flooding, the city’s water systems were at max capacity. they asked people to reduce their water use for a few days. of course, i complied!

i had a pile of clothes that i needed to put in the washing machine, postponed! i had a dishwasher full that needed to be cleaned, also postponed! i even limited my toilet flushing, if it’s yellow let it mellow!

while i easily can compile with water restrictions, not everyone can. my mom asked why i wasn’t running the dish washer. i explained that we were in water restriction and since we didn’t absolutely need to have clean dishes, i let it sit. i also didn’t need any clean clothes, i still had plenty in my closet, so i let my dirty clothes sit!

the average dish washer uses 6 gallons of water per cycle. this is 23 litres, for my metric readers. this is the same amount of water as daily drinking water for 11 people! the average washing machine uses 15 to 30 gallons (56.8 to 113.6 litres) each cycle. an insane amount of water!

so if i don’t need to use gallons of water while the city’s water systems are stretched, i won’t! and luckily, others in our city also helped out. the city’s system was back at regularly outputs in 2 days! and we could go back to our regular water usage.

while world water day has passed, i encourage you to think about your water use. can you reduce it? can you change your habits to help our planet (or our city)?

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