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Jump on board for water efficiency this winter

Currently water is generally a readily available resource -- we turn on the faucet, and pure, clean water is ready for use. What if it was not readily available and we had to ration our water use?

We know there is talk in the more arid western United States about these types of struggles. Did you know that rations are even happening right here in Central Illinois? Decatur has been dealing with water use restrictions due to drought seasons in 2011 and 2012. Also, we need to be more efficient to conserve our primary drinking water source in Central Illinois -- the Mahomet Aquifer.

Water efficiency can be as simple as implementing a faucet aerator on a bathroom sink. An aerator adds more air into the water flow, increasing pressure but decreasing water use. If a standard aerator (2 gallons/minute) is replaced with a more efficient aerator (0.5 gallons/minute), water use is cut by almost two-thirds. Faucet aerators are easy, cost-effective ways to save water while maintaining the same amount of water pressure.

Businesses can help reduce their impact by implementing water-conserving practices and helping others understand the benefits. In mid-November, six businesses in Champaign County, one business in Coles County and three businesses in McLean County were recognized by the Illinois Green Business Association for integrating practices and policies that reduce water use in the Mahomet Aquifer Region through a project funded by Illinois American Water.

The project engaged 112 employees in implementing 78 water-conserving strategies in more than 57,000 square feet of space. Strategies included everything from educational lunches for employees to efficient equipment upgrades to policy integration for continual water conservation within their businesses.

Act now. Jump on board and start saving water in your organization, and reduce your impact on our precious resource.

The Illinois Green Business Association is a nonprofit organization in Champaign that offers certification and green business services. You can contact the IGBA via their website at www.illinoisGBA.org or call them at 217-531-2179.

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