Water Conservation: Do Your Part!

  • Published
  • By Artemiz Avci
  • 39th Civil Engineer Squadron, base energy manager
We all know water is essential, and, unfortunately, a lot of people act like it's unlimited. The reality is that fresh water is a finite resource that is becoming scarce. While it's true water is constantly being recycled through the Earth's water cycle, people are using up our planet's fresh water faster than it can be naturally replenished.

On Oct. 5, 2009, Presidential Executive Order number 13514 was signed, mandating that federal agencies improve water use efficiency and management by reducing water consumption by two percent annually through Fiscal Year 2020.

In order to comply, the 39th Air Base Wing is implementing measures to conserve water through improved conservation practices, water main repairs and leak detection, installation of mechanical water timers, and other innovative solutions to meet water consumption reduction requirement.

Incirlik water consumption is higher than most of the bases within U.S. Air Forces in Europe due to the location and climate. Because of this, maintaining the base as a green oasis for members of Team Incirlik and their families to enjoy requires more water.

Incirlik AB experienced a very dry winter season, which caused the irrigation period to be extended through all winter months. As a result, this year's water consumption intensity is higher than the previous year.

The 39th Civil Engineer Squadron estimates approximately 60 percent of the base's water consumption falls to irrigation for locations such as the housing areas, ball fields, parks and other grass covered areas.

To combat wasted water usage, a base energy conservation memorandum signed by Col. Craig Wills, 39th ABW commander, on June 3, 2014, prohibits the watering of lawns between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. Residents are responsible for how their gardeners work and whether they implement base rules for watering hours.

If you see any conflict with your gardener's actions, reiterate the bases watering policy:

· Do not run exterior water between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m., except to wash cars.
· If anyone sees water running between 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., turn it off.
· Turn off all hoses and sprinklers at the end of the work day.
· Do not tamper with, or remove, water timers.

The 39th ABW also started communication with Turkish air force officials about water consumption reduction requirements and all potential sources of increased water usage. Despite the effort implemented by the Incirlik command, conservation measures cannot be achieved without personal care by the Incirlik residents and host nation personnel.

Saving water also helps to preserve our environment. Reducing water consumption saves energy because less water needs to be treated and pumped to end users. The majority of water used at home is used outdoors, so even small steps to save water can yield big savings. Little things such as fixing a broken sprinkler, reporting any type of leakage or making sure that you are running your sprinklers in the cool of the morning can save lots of water.

39th ABW needs all members' help to achieve the reduction goals. Every drop counts, and every person can make a difference.

Here are tips on conserving water that everyone can take part in:

· Adjust sprinklers so only your lawn is watered and not the house, sidewalk, or street.
· Use a hose nozzle or turn off the water while you wash your car. You can save up to 100 gallons each time.
· Run your clothes washer and dishwasher only when they are full. You can save up to 1,000 gallons a month.
· Wash your fruits and vegetables in a pan of water instead of running water from the tap.
· Teach your children to turn off faucets tightly after each use.
· Turn off the water while brushing your teeth. You can save up to 25 gallons a month.
· Take shorter showers - reducing by one or two minutes can save up to 150 gallons per month.
· Report water leaks - a dripping faucet can waste hundreds of gallons each month.

Remember, every drop of water is important. Use water wisely!

Click here to download the Incirlik AB family housing instructions to occupants and gardeners in English and Turkish.