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1 TRACK YOUR DAILY WATER USE

This action focuses on simply tracking your daily water use to expand your understanding of water consumption habits.

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why?

Most people may be surprised to see how water is used in their home.
This action focuses on simply tracking home water use to gain an awareness of where water is used.


how to do this action:

This action asks participants to track and measure how much water is typically consumed in their daily lifestyle. Track all water uses throughout a typical day. Make sure to note the setting (how high was the faucet on), the flow rate of the fixture and how long you used water. To find the flow rate, place a one-gallon bucket underneath the faucet and time how long it takes to fill. For example, if it takes 30 seconds to fill the bucket, the flow rate is 2 gallons per minute.

Below is an example spreadsheet of typical water use over one day:

Daily Water Use Example

You can measure water use in two ways. If you live in an apartment with roommates, track only YOUR water use. If you are a family, track the water use of your household. The example above shows a household example which takes into account all of the showering, toilet flushing, etc of the other members of your household.

This action does not require participants to reduce their water use in any particular way. Rather, the goal is to determine if simply being aware of how much water is used for daily tasks will reduce certain water uses.

In this example household, showing, toilet flushing, lawn watering and pool refilling (due to evaporation) are the largest water users as seen by the graphic below:

Daily Water Use Bar Graph

what will be measured?

KEY QUESTIONS

QUANTITATIVE QUESTION: How much water is saved by being aware of how much water is used for each daily task?

QUALITATIVE QUESTION: How does the experience of tracking your water use affect your happiness, convenience, health and costs?

BASELINE WEEK TRACKING

QUANTITATIVE
During the baseline tracking week before the project begins, use the corresponding spreadsheet (WTR1_BASELINE) to list all water uses throughout a typical day to get total gallons used in a typical day. Decide whether or not you would like to complete this action as an individual or as a household.

QUALITATIVE


Qualitative Scale

Using the above scale as a visual, rate each of the following criteria on the spreadsheet (WTR1_BASELINE) as it relates to your current water consumption habits:

  • 1. SATISFACTION/HAPPINESS
    (Overall, how much enjoyment or dissatisfaction do you get out of doing and completing this behavior?)

  • 2. CONVENIENCE
    (How easy/difficult and accessible/inaccessible is this behavior for you to do and complete?)

  • 3. HEALTH
    (How healthy/unhealthy and safe/unsafe does this behavior make you feel?)

  • 4. COST
    (How much does this behavior cost? Use positive numbers for being above average and negative numbers for being below average and zero for being average.)

IMPLEMENTATION PHASE TRACKING

QUANTITATIVE
At the conclusion of the project, use the corresponding spreadsheet (WTR1_QUANTITATIVE) to revisit your baseline spreadsheet. Measure and record your water usage/day again for each task. Compare this total daily water use to your baseline water use/day.

QUALITATIVE
Part 1 - Ranking


Qualitative Scale

Using the above scale as a visual, rate each of the following criteria weekly on the spreadsheet (WTR1_QUALITATIVE) Your answers should not be rated in comparison to your baseline week, but in general as a reflection of how you are feeling.

  • 1. SATISFACTION/HAPPINESS
    (Overall, how much enjoyment or dissatisfaction do you get out of doing and completing this behavior?)

  • 2. CONVENIENCE
    (How easy/difficult and accessible/inaccessible is this behavior for you to do and complete?)

  • 3. HEALTH
    (How healthy/unhealthy and safe/unsafe does this behavior make you feel?)

  • 4. COST
    (How much does this behavior cost? Use positive numbers for being above average and negative numbers for being below average and zero for being average.)

Part 2 - Blogging
Keep a narrative log of your experiences as you implement this action and how it has affected your life. Some of the following questions might be helpful as you reflect upon your experiences.

How do you think an awareness of how much water you typically use for daily tasks affects your water usage? Were you surprised by any of your water uses? Why and which ones?


resources

Metropolitan Council Water Conservation Toolbox
ACTION SPREADSHEETS

The spreadsheets referred to above can be found in the Excel file at the following link:

WTR1_Track Your Daily Water Use Spreadsheet

If you prefer to enter your responses by hand, printable PDFs of each spreadsheet can be found at the following links (at the end of the project, all data will have to be entered into the Excel spreadsheet):

WTR1_BASELINE
WTR1_QUANTITATIVE
WTR1_QUALITATIVE