Week 1: California Is In A Self-Made Drought!
I’ll be honest, the title is misleading. California is very often in a drought, and it’s because of natural causes. But if I told you right now that your house likely currently leaks thousands of gallons that could be easily captured, you might not believe me. However, the United States Environmental Protection Agency found that statistically, the average household wastes nearly 10,000 gallons of water yearly through leaks alone. And while we’ve all heard that we should be limiting our showers to just five minutes a day and turning off the faucet when we brush, the largest factor to water wastage is actually through leaky faucet fixtures. Ten percent of homes have leaks of over 90 gallons per day. Overall, the US wastes 1 trillion gallons annually nationwide through leaks alone. Thus, my senior project focuses on trying to limit leaky faucets and conserve water for us to use state-wide (and thus reduce the severity of our droughts).
Throughout my project, I’ll be designing, prototyping, and fabricating a device that will retrofit homes with older faucet fixtures by implementing smart-motion technology. The benefit of this is that homeowners enjoy the environmental and financial benefits of motion-sensing without requiring a full fixture replacement. Homeowners can thus affordably upgrade their homes to fit the environmental needs of today’s world.
For this first week, I’ve been working on creating a survey to send out to nearby homeowners regarding their water bill and water usage. By gathering this data, I can eventually estimate how much of an impact a device like mine would make, and by the end of the project, I can run another survey to see the real impact of my device.
Over the course of the next few weeks, I’ll be designing my idea to fit the necessities of my surveyed audiences! Hopefully this short summary clued you into the water needs of our world today, and I’ll look to update this blog weekly with a sketch or diagram of my device idea as I solidify it.
See you next week!