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Guest Column

Blue Thumbs save water: Gov. Lowry proclaims Drinking Water Week

Drinking Water Week From Woodinville Water District and the American Water Works Association
Don't just go with the flow. Even though there's a tendency to use water as if our supplies are limitless, the truth is that there's a limit to this precious natural resource.
   The amount of water available for drinking, cooking, and a million other uses remains the same as it was when the Earth was formed. Yet today, we have more people demanding more goods and services that use water. It just makes good sense, therefore, to take better care of our water supplies. That's where a Blue Thumb comes in handy.
   A Blue Thumb is to water what a green thumb is to plants. Both are about having a hand in making something better. At home, at work, and in between, there are many opportunities to exercise care for water by using your Blue Thumb.
   A twist here. A turnoff there. It all adds up.
   Start by turning off the tap in the bathroom when you brush your teeth or shave, and in the kitchen while cleaning fruits and vegetables.
   Put a pitcher of water in the refrigerator, so you won't have to run the tap every time you want a drink. When you let the water run, 5 U.S. gallons or 19 liters a minute pour down the drain.
   Repair leaky faucets and replace water-guzzling fixtures and appliances with their water-efficient counterparts. A leaky faucet can waste up to 2,000 U.S. gallons or 7,600 liters of water a year.
   While an old-fashioned toilet uses between 3.5 and seven U.S. gallons per flush, the newer water-efficient models use as little as 1.5 U.S. gallons.
   Put a shutoff nozzle on your hose. Water your lawn before 10 a.m. and never when it's windy. Landscape with grasses, shrubs, and plants that require little water. Typically, 50 to 70 percent of household water is used on lawns and gardens.
   At work, use recycled paper products, always use both sides of the paper, and participate in recycling programs. Paper manufacturing is one of the top five water-consuming industries.
   Like any other kind of exercise, the more you do with your Blue Thumb, the stronger and more fit it will become. Try to do something every day.
   Remember, don't just go with the flow, exercise your Blue Thumb to slow the flow.