On Maui, mainly upcountry Maui, we all know the importance of water. Summer is upon us, and we have regular droughts this time of year. We are compelled to lessen water usage, keeping to essential functions such as showering, sewage, and cooking.
In a perfect world, here is a multi-pronged solution to this problem.
1. Explore the viability of humanure and greywater use. This would drastically reduce the use of fresh water needed, alleviating the drought problem not to mention the infrastructure costs, treatment, chemicals, effluent, pollution, etc. associated with sewage treatment; additionally, the importing of fertilizers in an unsustainble method . If people are wary of using humanure, use it on non-edible crops.
2. Promote rainwater catchment systems. If we used our roofs, natural rain collectors, and stored the water in the rainy season, we would lessen the demand on the reservoirs during the dry months. Another option: green roofs.
3. Get rid of lawns. Those ever-needy plants that give back nothing. If you have no grass, you have no need to water it. I would say that the lawn is the #1 consumer of water, outside of showering, sewage, and cooking/drinking.