Dan Couchenour, an environmental science education major, is working on a senior project meant to affect Catawba College’s campus and the environment in a positive way through the conservation of water. He has been taking this project very seriously, even going as far as monitoring the water bills of every residence hall on campus for the past five semesters. He met with his fellow Resident Assistants on Tuesday, January 21st to devise a plan. Each Resident Assistant has been instructed to hold hall meetings in his or her building by February 7th. During these hall meetings, residents will be given an eight-question quiz related to the effects of saving water and will be provided a small prize for getting the questions right.
Some of the questions (and answers) Dan asks are as follows:
- If a faucet drips once every second, how many gallons of water will leak in one full day?
- Answer: Five gallons
- How many gallons of water does a 4 minute shower use?
- Answer: 20 – 40 gallons
- How many gallons does it take to keep the water running in a sink for a minute?
- Answer: Four gallons
- Why, in terms of water conservation, would it be important to use a renewable bottle and refill it at a water fountain?
- Answer: It takes many liters of water to produce that one bottle through purification and recycling.
- The average household can account for 10,000 gallons of water leaked over one full year. How many loads of laundry could be done with these 10,000 gallons?
- Answer: 270 loads
- Because much of the earth’s water is salt water, we have a very limited supply of water we can use. What percent of water on earth can we actually use for our needs, like cooking and drinking?
- Answer: One percent
These questions are meant to encourage thoughtfulness and, most of all, a change in behavior among the college’s residential students. Using less water means saving money, and Couchenour believes there are better things we could be spending the saved money on. During the fall 2013 semester, he created a poll to ask students what they would rather spend the money on, and rentable bicycles won with 137 out of 355 total votes. Because of this outcome, he has titled his project “A Gallon a Day Helps You Ride Away” and will be implementing it throughout his last semester at Catawba. He hopes to be able to leave something positive behind.