You’re probably wasting an insane amount of water (2024)

Las Vegas’ Bellagio hotel has over 2,000 glass flowers in its lobby and 3,000 rooms, but it’s really well known for one thing: The water show. In front of the resort, there’s an 8.5-acre man-made lake with 1,214 synchronized jets that propel water streams 400-plus feet into the air. The show-stopping display is also, technically, located in the middle of a Nevada desert. Not surprisingly, the Bellagio has some water management challenges.

In the United States, the cost of water is growing at a faster rate than income and inflation. Most of the price increase isn’t for the water itself, but for the infrastructure, chemicals and energy used to transport, treat and heat it. And Americans are wasting lots of water. According to the EPA, the average household wastes 10,000 gallons of water each year (imagine you’re throwing out 37,000-plus of those water bottles you buy at the convenience store without drinking them), combining to 1 trillion nationwide.

Last year, the Bellagio worked with “intelligent water management” company Apana to installwater meters with Internet of Things-enabled sensors that track near real-time data about water consumption. In addition to the fountain, the Bellagio has five swimming pools, over a dozen restaurants and at least 3,000 bathrooms that were all possibly wasting water.

Bellagio’s tale is not unique. Many companies are looking for smarter ways to manage water, including big box stores, supermarkets and car washes.

Apana is one of the companies that works with WaterStart, an organization that brings together forward-thinking businesses to fix real-world challenges with tech-savvy solutions. WaterStart matches members like the Bellagio with professional partners such as Apana that can provide innovative, sustainable solutions.

WaterStart also connected the Southern Nevada Water Authority and the Las Vegas Valley Water District with Klir, a platform that helps streamline water-related permit applications, which can be a time-consuming process. The Southern Nevada Water Authority also worked with Riventa’s water delivery technology to optimize distribution over its 300 miles of pipe.

For the Bellagio, Apana’s sensors monitored the site’s water footprint, identifying movement speed, mechanical malfunctions and failure points. Poring over the usual water bills didn’t help. The result of the pilot study? After addressing the issues identified, Bellagio’s water consumption decreased by 37 percent at the pool area and additional areas of the resort are being reviewed for even more opportunities to save water.

“Thanks to those high-resolution, [near] real time sensors, we’re able to tell people, if they have a problem, what they are able to do about it right then, and guide them to eliminate that waste,” said Frank Burns, co-founder of Apana.”

Unlike conventional water bills, which display data about water usage once a month, Apana’s platform is much more immediate.

“Real time is critical. A [conventional] water billis worse than a ‘check engine’ light on an auto dashboard,” said Burns. He estimates that 25 to 30 percent of the water used by property owners is unnecessary; wasted because most property managers lack accurate, real-time data about how their water is being used for various purposes in various locations.

The water being saved in professional infrastructures will not only help lead to lower company water bills, but can also be, theoretically, used for drinking, crop irrigation, and numerous other uses.

Despite growing public awareness of drought and water scarcity, the complex challenges involved in managing the world’s water supply chain in the “built environment” — human-made spaces such as office buildings and shopping centers — have attracted little public awareness. Unlike highly visible lakes, rivers or coastal waters, that sort of water “comes from the ground, goes into your building, and then it leaves it. Nobody thinks about it,” said Burns.

“That water is not just used in flashy fountains or swimming pools,” explains Burns. “When water is used in a building, it’s because some machine or individual in the building is using it, often behind the scenes.”

So the next time you’re running water over a frozen chicken to defrost it or letting a shower head drip week after week, remember those small actions are contributing to our planet’s massive water shortage. If you’re unsure how your home or business is wasting water, smart tech can often help figure it out.

For more information, see:

5 technologies working to save the water crisis

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You’re probably wasting an insane amount of water (2024)


Is it better to sip water or chug it? ›

We grab a bottle of water and guzzle it down, often in one go, to satisfy that thirst. But that's not really the best way to hydrate, says Lindsay Baker, PhD, a senior principal scientist at the Gatorade Sports Science Institute. “In general, it's best to sip a little bit throughout the day,” Baker says.

Is it okay to drink 10 glasses of water a day? ›

How much daily total water do you need? For healthy individuals, the average daily water for men is about 15.5 cups and for women about 11.5 cups. That might mean you need only four to six cups of plain water, depending on other fluid sources such as coffee, tea, juice, fruits, and vegetables.

What happens if you only drink 16 oz of water a day? ›

If you do not drink enough water, your intestinal cells begin to extract water from the waste in your intestine. As a result, stools harden and become difficult to move, causing constipation.

Is it safe to drink 32 ounces of water at once? ›

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention advises people not to drink more than 48 ounces, or six cups, per hour. Too much water or other fluids, such as sports drinks, can cause a medical emergency because the concentration of salt in the blood becomes too low.

Is it better to sip water or guzzle? ›

Sip water slowly than guzzling it down at once. Sipping water and allowing it to stay in the mouth and then passing through the food pipe helps the alkaline saliva reach the stomach to neutralise acid levels in the stomach.

Does swishing water hydrate you? ›

While a swish with water can help to remove the debris, it won't solve your dehydration problem.

Is a gallon of water a day too much? ›

Drinking a gallon of water a day is usually safe for most, but drinking too much water can be risky for those with certain health conditions like kidney disorders or heart problems, says Ellen Landes, RDN, CPT, a registered dietician based in St. Charles, Illinois, and owner of The Runner's Dietitian.

What happens if I drink 8 bottles of water a day? ›

When you drink too much water, your kidneys can't get rid of the excess water. The sodium content of your blood becomes diluted. This is called hyponatremia and it can be life-threatening.

Does coffee count as water intake? ›

What about coffee? Some coffees will have a higher caffeine level than others, and obviously more than tea. But the diuretic effect is fairly low in most people, similar to tea. As both tea and coffee do count as water intake, the level of caffeine contained in both drinks shouldn't have any dehydrating effects.

Can you drink too much milk? ›

Too much milk can lead to health problems such as iron deficiency anemia and protein loss from the gut. While it is true that milk can be a great part of a healthy diet for children, too much milk can lead to health problems such as iron deficiency anemia and protein loss from the gut.

Why do females have less water than males? ›

Typically, a female body contains a lower percentage of water than a male one. This is due to females having a higher percentage of fat. This water distribution means that people with a higher percentage of body fat are likely to have a lower percentage of water in their bodies.

Is 128 oz of water too much to drink in a day? ›

Drinking a gallon of water (128 ounces) per day is generally considered safe for most people. However, it is important to note that this amount may not be appropriate for everyone and may depend on individual factors such as body size, activity level, and overall health.

Is it OK to drink water all at once? ›

When you drink too much water, you may experience water poisoning, intoxication, or a disruption of brain function. This happens when there's too much water in the cells (including brain cells), causing them to swell. When the cells in the brain swell they cause pressure in the brain.

Why do I feel dizzy after drinking a lot of water? ›

"This is where sodium in the body is too low from excessive sodium loss in sweat or urine," says Cline. "Or it is diluted by taking in too much free water without any electrolytes." Hyponatremia can cause headaches, nausea, dizziness, confusion, muscle cramps, and in severe cases coma, seizures, and death.

Why do I sweat after drinking water? ›

Fluid intake (ingestion or even injection) ameliorates the dehydration and eliminates, at least partially, the inhibition of the thermoregulatory responses; so there are phenomena called 'drinking induced thermoregulatory responses' [6-8] and one of them is 'drinking induced sweating'.

Is it better to sip or gulp water bottles? ›

Sipping water, rather than drinking a lot over a short period of time, seems to allow the body to efficiently process the water and hydrate, without the spike in urination we see with gulping water.

Is it better to sip or gulp juice? ›

We've touched on the misery of stomach aches that await you if you gulp down your juice in a few seconds, but there is also a health benefit to sipping your juice. Similar to eating slowly, drinking your juice at leisure also helps digestion and to facilitates the optimal absorption of vitamins and minerals.

Which is more polite sip a drink or gulp it? ›

A "gulp" in this context means drinking a large amount at once. If you fill your whole mouth with tea before you swallow, then you gulped your tea. A sip is a small amount. Sipping your tea is more polite.

How to drink water correctly in a day? ›

To prevent dehydration and make sure your body has the fluids it needs, make water your beverage of choice. It's a good idea to drink a glass of water: With each meal and between meals. Before, during and after exercise.


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