MARINE CORPS AIR GROUND COMBAT CENTER TWENTYNINE PALMS, Calif. — --
The Combat Center created a Water Conservation Task Force, Oct. 2014, as a result of the implementation of the base Water Conservation Policy, which was developed as a measure to increase water conservation on the installation. California is currently experiencing a drought and Combat Center patrons can play their part in preserving this resource.
WCTF has taken on this task in an effort to continue decreasing the amount of water resources the base uses per-person. The task force’s main goal is to implement new and relevant conservation technologies and teach the community about water conservation.
“We are looking into new technologies to [save water],” said Chris Elliott, water resources manager, National Resource and Environmental Affairs. “However, what will make the biggest impact [on water conservation] is to change the [way] Marines, sailors and their families [use water].”
According to Elliot, the Combat Center currently uses approximately 1.8 million gallons of water each day, which decreased from 2 million gallons in 2013.
The United States Geological Survey’s current assessment states, in an average American household, a bathroom sink expends 1 gallon of water per minute. Certain tasks such as teeth brushing should take approximately one gallon of water if the water is turned off while performing the task. Teeth brushing takes approximately two minutes, turning off the water saves several gallons of water. Shaving should also take approximately one gallon of water with the sink turned off. While shaving, fill the basin and rinse the razor in the sink rather than leaving the water running.
USGS also says the average American household uses approximately two and a half gallons of water a minute while taking a shower. To minimize water consumption, conduct showers in five to eight minutes or after rinsing turn off the water while lathering and turn the water back on to rinse off.
On average, a kitchen sink uses approximately two gallons of water per minute. While washing dishes it is best to rinse the dish first then turn the water off while scrubbing with soap. Once several dishes have been scrubbed rinse them all at once. Another way would be to fill a large container with soap and water and wash the dishes in the container, replacing the water periodically through the load of dishes.
“California is in a drought right now,” Elliott said. “All of the water we have comes from the ground and the only way to replenish that supply is through rain, which we don’t get enough of.”
According to Elliott, protecting our water resources is an important task for any one living in California. As of 2013, the NREA found the Combat Center uses approximately 73 gallons of water per-person, per-day. Compared to the statistics the Environmental Protection Agency found in its study in 2005, which discovered that, on average, each Californian uses between 101 and 125 gallons of water each day, the Combat Center is already well under the state-wide average for water consumption.
In 2015, the Secretary of the Navy Environmental Awards Program, a program that recognizes Navy and Marines Corps installations for their efforts in environmental awareness, recognized the Combat Center for its efforts in natural resources and sustainability throughout 2014.
As the Combat Center is doing well to conserve water, it is possible to conserve more water and better prepare for life outside of the military.
“When you get up in the morning you don’t think about conserving water,” Elliott said. “While you are in base housing or the barracks you don’t pay for your water. If we can [develop] habits like these, Marines, sailors [and their families] can save money when they leave the military.”
The NREA’s mission is to preserve the natural resources and the wildlife of the Combat Center. Through changing water faucets in sinks and shows, as well as replacing toilets, and teaching the Combat Center patrons about saving water, NREA has done much to increase water conservation.
For more information on how to conserve water, call the Water Conservation Hotline at 830-7183.