Every Drop Counts

Renewable Water Resources Laboratory & Environmental Education Center

Most of us start our days with water. We drink it, shower in it, and use it to boil our eggs, or make our coffee. Most of us, at least in most cities in America, are fortunate enough to be able to turn on a tap and access plentiful, safe drinking water and we use it freely, to the tune of about 82 gallons per person per day.

We often take clean water for granted because it appears to be so readily available. However, only about 1 percent of the water on earth is accessible at any given time for human use. 97 percent is salt water held in the oceans; the remaining freshwater is divided between groundwater, icecaps and snowpack, water vapor in the atmosphere, precipitation and runoff, and lakes and rivers. The 1 percent of available freshwater supplies not just household needs, but also agriculture and livestock, manufacturing, energy production, and other uses. Remember Samuel Taylor Coleridge’s Ancient Mariner, who found himself becalmed at sea. “Water, water, everywhere, nor any drop to drink,” he lamented. Those who study literature will remember that the Mariner had brought this fate upon himself by disrespecting nature. Wise use of this precious resource will serve us all well as the population on earth continues to grow.

Renewable Water Resources (ReWa), a renewable water organization founded in 1925, is dedicated to environmental stewardship of water in the Greenville, SC area and plans to be a part of the long-term solution. ReWa’s vision is to “be a community partner and an industry leader safeguarding our water environment for future generations,” a commitment founded upon water treatment infrastructure, industry partnerships, and community outreach. With 343 miles of trunk sewer lines to eight Water Resources Recover Facilities (WRRF), ReWa currently renews approximately 42 million gallons of wastewater per day. That’s about 2.4 million showers, 453.6 million cups of coffee, or 7 million dishwasher loads.

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