Every individual effort counts, conserve water

Service members stationed in the Kaiserslautern Military Community are required to follow local environmental laws, just as they do in the United States.

The Federal Water Act, Wasserhaushaltsgesetz, states citizens and authorities are obliged to use water responsibly. By following these laws, three things are achieved: restoration, supply is upheld and water sources are secured.

“We maintain or restore good ecological and chemical quality of water,” explained Luis Saldivar, 86th Civil Engineer Squadron energy manager. “We ensure an adequate supply of drinking water. Lastly, we secure, for the long term, all other water uses that serve public interest, such as leisure, recreation, shipping and energy production.”

Ramstein Air Base has implemented restrictions, which have a base-wide impact.

“We limit landscaping water use to only summer months. In addition, the golf course has a designated water well which allows for the watering of the course, without direct use of potable water,” Saldivar added. “A year and a half ago, Ramstein implemented the installation of flow restrictors in lodging facilities as well as in dormitories.”

Saving water also lowers utility bills.

“By saving water, we have a lower demand, which reduces the amount of water that needs to be treated,” Saldivar explained. “Conserving water not only cuts down on water costs, but also sewage and electrical costs as well.”

According to the U.S. Department of Interior’s Bureau of Reclamation, only three percent of Earth’s water is available for consumption, making it necessary to conserve.

Environmental Exclusive is a series designed to educate members in the Kaiserslautern Military Community on how individual choices impact the Earth. Graphic designed to promote the first edition of Ramstein Air Base’s Environmental Exclusive.

Ways to conserve water:

  • Take shorter showers — five to 10 gallons of water per minute are used
  • Shut off water while brushing teeth — wet brush, fill a glass for rinsing
  • Turn off water while shaving — fill bottom of sink with a few inches, in order to rinse the razor
  • Check toilets for leaks — add food coloring to tank, if the color begins to appear in the bowl without flushing, there is a leak
  • Check faucets for leaks — one drip per second wastes more than 3,000 gallons per year, which is the amount needed for approximately 180 showers
  • Wash full loads — washing incomplete loads of laundry requires more, unnecessary cycles, and increases water usage quickly

“With growing population rates and such a small percentage of all the water on Earth fit for drinking consumption, it only makes sense that we must preserve and conserve this precious resource,” Saldivar said.